August 27, 2010
The former boss of MI5 has said Iraq was a "distraction" that posed no threat to the UK when Tony Blair took the country to war.
Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller said intelligence suggested the domestic threat could actually increase as a result of the invasion.
The ex-security service chief made the remarks in an interview in which she said she "assumes" there will be bombs attacks in Britain.
"Iraq did not present a threat to the UK," she told the Radio Times about the 2003 war, which was led by the then-American president George W Bush and Mr Blair, who was the British prime minister at the time."The service advised that it was likely to increase the domestic threat and that it was a distraction from the pursuit of al Qaeda.
"I understood the need to focus on Afghanistan. Iraq was a distraction," she said.
"Intelligence isn't complete without the full picture and the full picture is all about doubt. Otherwise, you go the way of George Bush," she continued.Dame Manningham-Buller said it was "for others to decide" whether the war was the right decision.
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm
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