So says a leaked top-secret memo from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). Once again, the Sunday Times has the scoop:
The four-page memo, entitled International Terrorism: Impact of Iraq, contradicts Blair’s public assurances by concluding that the invasion of Iraq has fomented a jihad or holy war against Britain.
It states: “It has reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the West and motivated others who were not.”
It adds: “Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalisation of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the UK as legitimate.”
The memo was approved by Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, John Scarlett, the chief of MI6, and Sir David Pepper, head of GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping centre.
The leak of the JIC’s official assessment — marked “top secret” — will alarm Blair as it appears to be directed at undermining the public statements in which he has denied that the war in Iraq has increased the terror threat from Al-Qaeda.