The Obama administration has gone out of its way to poison relationships with traditional allies with Great Britain, and it seems that the favor is now being returned, as the Prime Minister’s office has disclosed publicly that British intelligence, MI5, warned the US about Umar Abdulmutallab. The Telegraph reports:
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was named in a file of people based in Britain who had made contact with radical Muslim preachers. The file was sent to the US authorities in 2008.
The disclosure will embarrass President Barack Obama, who is already under pressure after failures by US intelligence to identify the bomber. …
It is extremely unusual for the Prime Minister’s office to comment on intelligence matters. The move could be seen as an attempt to rebuff criticism from senior American figures who claimed that Britain had nurtured Islamic extremism.
At first it was thought that MI5 gathered only limited information on Abdulmutallab and had therefore not alerted the US.
However, in an official briefing, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said that British intelligence was shared with the Americans. He said: “Clearly there was security information about this individual’s activities and that was information that was shared with the US authorities. That is the key point.” …
The decision by Downing Street to give details of the shared intelligence was unlikely to be welcomed by the White House. It was the latest in a series of incidents, which have strained relations between Britain and America.