Rachel North: no truth or justice yet

Rachel from North London has posted her reaction to the verdicts in the terrorism trial at Kingston Crown Court today:

So there will never be justice, but there can be the other thing so badly wanted and needed by the victims; the truth to be told, and the best way for that to happen - for the complex picture of what was known, by whom and when, what decisions were made, such as deciding not to prioritise the men who became the 7/7 bombers as investigative targets and so on - is to have an independent inquiry.

An inquiry independent of the government and the security services and the police, with the power to compel and cross examine witnesses, go through evidence in detail, and write a report and recommendations which will be acted upon and so, we hope, save lives and spare suffering in future. This is what we have asked for, for over three years now. We have been prevented from having one because of the legal processes - the trials that have followed 7/7, as a result of which some men have been jailed for planning terror offences and others have been acquitted. Now those trials are completed, we are still waiting.

The families still wait for inquests - unsure still when they will happen and whether they will be held in secret or not - under the terms of the Coroners and Justice Bill legislation.

The survivors and families wait - along with the British public - for the ISC report, to see if this time it answers our questions about what was known about the bombers before they struck. And all of us wait, not for justice, nor for ‘closure’ - this is not therapy, this is thankless hard and sad work, especially today, when it is my wedding anniversary and I have cancelled the celebrations to go and talk about this yet again on the news and Newsnight - but I wait, we wait for the truth to finally be told, in the hope that, one day soon, it will.

A significant point she makes is that the 2005 bombers were not, as politicians claimed at the time, “clean skins” — Siddique Khan in particular was well-known to the security services, was close to people who were plotting to let off a fertiliser bomb, had been taped talking about jihad (presumably, not just in theory — otherwise he would have been by no means alone in this) and had perpetrated a £20,000 fraud against the Jewsons building supplies company. Of course, it’s next to impossible to be a “clean skin” by the time you get to let off a bomb, as you will no doubt have been mixing with people known to the authorities if they are doing their job properly, but the idea that terrorists could come out of nowhere — that any Muslim could be a terrorist — obviously contributes to the air of suspicion against Muslims in general.

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