MI5 warned it must ‘up its game’ to stake out terror suspects

MI5 needs to up its game staking out terror suspects, says the coroner who conducted the London Bridge attack inquests.

The security service twice halted its surveillance of ringleader Khuram Butt in the run-up to the 2017 van and knife rampage that left eight dead.

Chief coroner, Mark Lucraft QC, said the decision to stop watching Butt was a matter of “public concern”.

On the second occasion, the investigation was suspended for six weeks and only restarted a month before the terror attack.

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Mr Lucraft said it was possible further useful intelligence about Butt would have been obtained, including information about his links to the other attackers, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba.

The coroner urged the security service to adopt flexible systems for scaling back rather than suspending investigative work. He called for new laws to ban the possession of the most serious material which glorifies or encourages terrorism.

Mr Lucraft also recommended a review of ambulance service procedures to ensure speed and flexibility and concluded there had been weaknesses in assessing the need for barriers on London Bridge to stop vehicles mounting the pavement.

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