Saturday, August 07, 2004

Blunkett rejects terror calls

That's a good thing.

The Home Secretary has warned that American-style openness over the al-Qaeda threat risked exposing politicians to 'ridicule', and dismissed calls for him to supply more details to the British public as 'arrant nonsense'.

In a startling sideswipe at the White House - which put troops around what it said were new targets in New York last week, only for it to emerge that the intelligence underpinning the supposed threat was years old - David Blunkett says he is not prepared to discuss security operations simply to 'feed the news frenzy' in a slow summer. The Home Secretary, writing in The Observer today, is understood to be furious with David Davis, his Tory shadow, whom he had offered a confidential briefing about the arrests of 13 terror suspects in Britain last week.


Blunkett's words reflect a growing row over political handling of intelligence, with accusations in Washington that George Bush may be overemphasising the threat in order to boost his chances in November's presidential election - and in London, a new willingness by the Tories to make political capital out of the terror issue.


Update: anonymous in nc comments, "Shorter Blunkett: I'm not Tom Ridge."