Former MI5 spy agency chief says there was no link between Iraq and 2001 attacks on US





The war in Iraq led to a loss of focus on the threat from al-Qaida, emboldened the group's leader Osama bin Laden, and helped to breed a generation of homegrown terrorists, Britain's former domestic spy chief told an inquiry Tuesday.

Making the sharpest criticism so far aired in Britain's inquiry into mistakes made in the Iraq war, Eliza Manningham-Buller, director of the MI5 agency between 2002 and 2007, said Britain's government paid little attention to warnings that the war would fuel domestic terrorism.

Manningham-Buller also said Iraq had posed little threat before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and insisted there was no evidence of a link between former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.



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