Politically Timed “Terror” Arrests – the Real Bob Quick Scandal 114

The mainstream media is in a flurry of excitement over the “Terror” arrests of students in the North West of England. Linked to this is the media feeding frenzy over the resignation of Bob Quick, Scotland Yard’s anti-terror chief. It is important to note that the Quick incident only brought forward the arrests by a few hours. Yet in all the acres of coverage in the newspapers, and all the hype on TV, nobody seems to have noticed the real story.

It was an accident that Bob Quick had his secret document on display as he was photographed entering Downing St.

But it was no accident that he was photographed entering Downing Street.

No 10 is a Tardis-like building which is far more impressive inside than out, and which seems impossibly large. Its secret is that it links straight through to No 11 and, more importantly, through to the huge Cabinet Office building that runs along Whitehall. The Cabinet Office is the central secretariat of the British government and in effect the office of the Prime Minister. The separation of the No 10 staff and the Cabinet Office staff is a polite fiction. The government’s major interdepartmental committees meet in the Cabinet Office, including the sexy Joint Intelligence Committee and its sub-committees. One of the fascinating things about the vast Cabinet Office building is that it incorporates parts of the original fabric of the Tudor Whitehall Palace.

In the first Iraq War I used to hand carry intelligence reports to No 10, and sometimes had to explain them personally to Mrs Thatcher. I never once took one in the front door. In fact I have only ever walked in the front door of No 10 when accompanying a foreign dignitary or attending a party. The front door is for people the government wants to be seen ?” hence the permanent stand of photographers which captured Bob Quick. People arriving to brief on secret matters go in through the back door, or more likely through the Cabinet Office.

So why did the government want us to see that Bob Quick was entering No 10? The only possible answer is that, had things gone more smoothly in the arrest of the “Terror suspects”, the government would have paraded the footage of Quick entering no 10 as evidence that it was really Glorious Gordon and Genius Jacqui who had directed the operation and saved the world – again.

It is very, very wrong ?” it violates the whole spirit of the constitution ?” for politicians to be involved in arresting people. If the police had real evidence that these people are terrorists, then of course they should have been arrested when the Police felt the right moment had come. That moment is when they have sufficient evidence, and are not putting the public at risk by undue delay. That is a technical decision requiring skill, expertise and experience in operational policing.

It is a matter of the criminal law. It is absolutely not the business of Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown. But we know that under New Labour the politicians are deciding who should be arrested and when. We know that for sure because then Home Secretary John Reid said in terms that he decided when the arrests should be made in the farcical “Bigger than 9/11”, (though in the event non-existent), “Liquid airplane bomb plot” case.

If politicians are going to decide the timing of arrests, then they cannot be surprised or aggrieved if we suspect that the timing of arrests is political.

This was definitely the case in the “Liquid Bomb Plot”. I know for certain from my own sources that in that case the intelligence services believed they had been forced by politicians to act too soon. That was quite widely reported at the time.

The view that John Reid had acted too early appears proved by a complex series of verdicts brought in by the jury. Less than half of those arrested actually were brought to trial. The jury found that three of the accused did have an intention to commit terror, but had formed no definite plan and specifically cleared them of the charge of planning to down aeroplanes with explosives.

Why had Reid jumped the gun? Because the Americans asked him to. With Bob Quick’s predecessor, the disgraced Andy Hayman, giving an official Scotland Yard view that the “Liquid Bomb Plot” was “Bigger than 9/11″ and involved plans to fly up to a dozen passenger jets simultaneously into different US cities, the resulting worldwide front page headlines were a Godsend for Bush in mid-term elections. They also enable the government to permanently ramp up the fear factor by the ludicrous toothpaste and shampoo searches that make flying so miserable.

In the liquid bomb plot do you remember the massive banner headlines ?” the full front page of every single tabloid in the UK -about the evil Muslim mother who planned to blow up herself and her baby along with the plane? There was no media reporting at all when she was cleared and released. The “Suspicious chemical” which police announced they had found in baby bottles was, errr, baby bottle sterilising solution.

The reasons why these “Terror raids” might be the subject of political timing could not be more obvious. Both Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown were getting a well-deserved media pasting over the outrageous ripping off of the taxpayer for personal benefit through expense claims. The Metropolitan Police were under extreme criticism for their unprovoked killing of Ian Tomlinson.

So this morning, instead of the news headline being the disgraceful fact that the policeman who launched an unprovoked assault from behind on Ian Tomlinson has still not been arrested, the headline is that the police have saved us all from certain death.

Let me be plain. I am not saying that terrorism does not exist. I am not saying that those arrested are innocent. I do not know. I am saying that Brown and Smith’s involvement in operational police arrests, and the fact that less than 1% of those arrested under anti-terror legislation in the UK have ever been charged with anything connected to terrorism, gives me the right to be suspicious of what is undeniably, at the very least, politically very fortuitous timing.

It is also the arrest of alleged terrorists from Pakistan, at a time when the government is under both parliamentary and criminal investigation for participation in torture of terrorist suspects in Pakistan. The government has responded by arguing that intelligence from torture abroad is necessary to save lives in the UK. I have no doubt that we will find the government arguing that this “terror plot” justifies their case.


Because of this suspicion, I will be setting a high test for evidence that these arrests really were needed at this time. The accusation is that a bombing campaign was ready for this Easter ?” ie now. If that is true, there must be explosives and detonators ready, or in the very final stages of preparation. We will see.

According to Sky News this morning, police searches so far have discovered photographs of leading buildings in Manchester taken by the students.

I studied Russian in St Petersburg. I have photographs I took of the Hermitage, of the Church on the Holy Blood, of the St Peter and Paul Fortress, of the bridges over the Neva, of the ornate underground stations. I studied Polish in Lublin. I have photographs of Lublin castle, of the main shopping street, of the Catholic University of Lublin…

I have, in fact, photographs of prominent buildings everywhere I ever studied. And photographis in bars and nightclubs.

Why do the police feel the need to feed out to the media the complete non-news of the non-evidence that they have discovered photographs of Manchester in Manchester? Why was it necessary for the Prime Minister to make a statement announcing the arrests? What does that do to the chances of a fair trial? Why was it never necessary to make a prime ministerial statement every time a suspected Irish terrorist ?” and remember they really did blow up the Arndale Centre in Manchester ?” was arrested?

There are many genuine and diligent people carrying out counter-terrorism work in the police and intelligence services, working the old-fashioned way with painstaking accumulation of evidence. They do save lives and they should be applauded and supported. They should be free from political interference and distanced from politicians.

They may have foiled a genuine plot here. If so they must be congratulated. The Home Secretary ?”who has not foiled any plots – should have been briefed after arrests were made, and there should be no room for suspicion that politicians had interfered.

That would have stuck to the cardinal rule of only telling people who actually have to know about an operation – and the rule of not carting around secret documents for no purpose.

The photo leak ?” which could indeed have jeopardised a security operation which may or may not prove to have been vital – was caused directly by the excessive and completely unnecessary involvement of the politicians in policing detail.

A police state is not a state where the police rule. It is a state where there is no distance between the politicians and police.

A police state is a state where a policeman can be caught on camera launching an unprovoked fatal assault from behind, yet not be arrested. A police state is a state where the police raid the parliamentary offices of opposition MPs. A police state is a state where it is the politicians who are making the decisions on who gets arrested and when.

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114 thoughts on “Politically Timed “Terror” Arrests – the Real Bob Quick Scandal

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  • anticant

    Anas, there are no snowmen in the Sahara, and there are no remotely democratic Muslim countries. I challenged you to point to one and you couldn’t, so you fall back on parrot cries of “it will not be like that for ever”, “faith moves mountains”, and “Islam will prevail” blah blah blah.

    You are obviously an intelligent and thoughtful person. What a pity you are also brainwashed by primitive religious twaddle.

  • nobody

    In amongst all the piss-take, why have I never seen Gordon Brown referred to as Gordon Brown-Note?


    Honestly, it’s just too perfect! Surely I’m not the first to have thought of this? Regardless, I thus dub him – Gordon Brown-Note.

    “Arise, Sir He-who-makes-us-soil-our-trousers!

  • anticant

    The holding of elections does not of itself make a country democratic. Its respect – or lack of it – for basic human rights and freedoms of expression, worship and lifestyles does. I am not aware of any Muslim country which entrenches such freedoms in its constitution, or supports them in practice. The United Kingdom, lacking a written constitution, has become far less democratic during the past decade than it previously was, thanks to all the panicky and authoritarian “anti-terrorist” and “anti-hate speech” laws passed by the present government.

  • George Dutton

    From “Postman Patel” blog…

    APRIL 11, 2009

    “U.K. Police Seek Evidence to Back Arrests of Terror Suspects”

    “The U.K. government now is bracing for the possibility that it may not have enough evidence to prosecute most of the 12 people arrested, according to two people familiar with the matter.”…


  • fortuzero

    Nobody…very good (re:brown note)

    Of course, there’s also a ‘Brownout’, referring in the context of electricity to a near _loss of power_. Not quite what we are after, but surely analoguous to the position he is currently in!

    Not of course that it makes the blindest bit of difference which puppet is currently in post in this system. Something far more fundamental needs to change here.

  • jives

    I dont believe this story.I dont believe the media.I dont believe NuLabour,I dont believe the War On Turr,Inc.

    Its all a spook spin job.

    No way would Quick have made this mistake and,if he had,the media/photo would’ve been immediately withdrawn by the powers that be.

    Its deliberate but i cant pretend to know what the real reasons for this rigged story are.

    Like so much of Spookdom,NuLabour and our current media its all smoke and mirrors.

    Believe nothing when it comes to this motley crew.

  • Jaded

    ‘The holding of elections does not of itself make a country democratic.’

    The U.S. being a prime example! I would say U.S. ‘democracy’ hinges on the principle of ‘you can do what you like, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your masters’. That isn’t democracy! I feel like vomiting when I see Bush criticising countries on human rights. We should forget individual countries and philosophically posit features we would deem to be part of a flourishing democracy. Then, we could look at individual countries and see how many boxes get ticked with the features we have identified, or lack of. I don’t think too much ink would be used. I think the U.K. is pretty undemocratic and teetering on tyranny. Off hand, does anyone know who ‘officially’ makes the decisions on the daily BBC news agenda?

  • aziz

    It is only logical when the politicians and in this case Brown and Smith are having a hard time, they create a situation to divert the attention to some thing else.

    And the media is too eager to oblige and do the dirty on their behalf. Just as before, these boys will be found guilty of some thing unrelated or not guilty at all. The press will not be queuing up to report that or will they ??? Previous experiences shows they will be missing from less glamorous un sensational reporting. The DULL politicians will have won again and will keep chipping away at our civil liberties to suit their purposes.

  • anticant

    Most Americans have little, if any, understanding of European politics. In ‘Matters of Fact and Fiction’, published in 1978, Gore Vidal said that

    “there is only one party in the United States, the Property Party…and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt?”until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”

  • wendy mann

    Jess at April 11, 2009 3:06 PM


    the fact is the evidence was poor, the over dramatisation for us telly viewers was more of a propaganda campaign than the reality of what is possible with liquid bombs.

    anyway this is of more importance and links up directly with the current pr campaign that has now gone flat :

    “I listened to the anger and pain over the challenges that young people growing up in Pakistan face, including the anger and frustration over US drone attacks,” he said.

    The attacks by unmanned US drones have provoked fury in Pakistan, where scores of militants have been killed in the country’s remote border regions, along with innocent civilians.

    “The anger and frustration at the drone attacks was huge,” Khan said. “The view they [the students] had was that the UK was somehow responsible for this. They haven’t understood this was purely a US matter. They lumped us together with the US, which to me is a poison. It demonstrates to me we have a big problem.”


  • Anas Taunton


    sausagerolls. that’s when you put tasteless, greasy, coloured offal from pork inside nice hot pastry. I think your adjective ‘primitive’ belongs in the sequence fanatic, extremist, terrorist etc. But thoughtful, yes I think God gaves us the capacity to think and we are expected to use it, even about Him.

  • Anas Taunton

    wendy mann

    Sadiq Khan, Social Cohesion Minister, means New Labour copy Obama we’re not against Muslims spin doctor. The British invented the hypocrisy of Colonialism, which was different from Imperialism because of its vile use of lies and spin. The UK has been a leading consultant to the US on the ‘war on terror’ policy and tactics and would like this not to be understood or known.

    The fact that a ‘Muslim’ is calling for the spin to be reinforced rather than UK policy to change just shows that in this country anyone can rise to power and fortune, if they totally toe the line. Craig doesn’t really like divine scriptures on his blog, but the theme of selling your next life in exchange for your worldly one, comes to mind.

  • Ken Hall

    “They may have foiled a genuine plot here. If so they must be congratulated.”

    Yes according to the Sun, the police have managed to confiscate bomb making materials.

    Back in the real world, that REALLY means that the police have saved us from Pakistani students having possession of a few small sachets of SUGAR!

  • susan

    I bet you have photographs of bars. They may not be doing it for the same reason as you though.

  • Ken Hall

    I do not know what door people use to enter Downing Street, but I do know that documents marked secret and above should be double enveloped and an officer of the seniority and experience of this officer would have known NOT to expose a secret document in any public location.

    There is NO WAY that this was a thoughtless accident. This was an imprisonable offence that was committed.

  • Tommy


    In the first trial of the Liquid bomb (airline) plot conspiracy, the person touted as the ‘key’ ‘ringleader’ (Mohammed Gulzar) was acquitted of all charges and was formally discharged at the conclusion of Trial No. 1 (April 08 ?” September 08). Three of the original 21 persons arrested (Abdullah Ali, Assad Sarwar,, and Tanvir Hussain) _admitted_(plea-bargained) conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life, but the jury was unable to reach verdicts on a second charge of conspiracy to murder by blowing up passenger jets.

    With regard to the ‘fertiliser conspiracy’, the ‘plotters’ were convicted using the testimony of (overworked) ‘Al Queda supergrass’ _Mohammed Junaid Babar_ & the testimonial evidence (obtained from the torture of Amin in Pakistan, under the knowledge of the UK spooks) of _Salahuddin Amin_.

  • Jon

    Anas Taunton – it seems to me that you refer to articles and items of your faith as truths we all need to accept, rather than beliefs you have chosen and that you have no wish to force on anyone. Do you really think that Craig’s logical and secular reasoning is “missing that element of truth which is Islam”?

    I note you say “[the situation of Islamic countries] will not be like that forever” and “Islam will prevail”. Do you mean this in terms of superiority of strength? Forgive me if I am jumping the gun, but it sounds here like you are advocating for Islam to be forced on people en masse who don’t want it.

  • Peter Owen

    well done wendy mann you managed to avoid criticsing all of the 7/7 9 11 bali bombers etc and still your trying to make the moral high ground 🙂

    ps kerstin care to tell me who did 9/11 then?

    it wasn;t the terrorists who were videod entering the planes and who had left sucidide videos , it wasn;t the planes flying directly into the buildings that we all saw on tv?

    no it was nothing to do with them was it?

    You make jack , from the beanstalk fairy tale seem switched on and informed 😉

  • Peter Owen

    Sorry Kerstin my post should not have been aimed at you

    But it was a reply to the poster who claimed to be able to drive a load of semi trailers through all of the terroist acts i mentioned

    Clearly he is well enough informed to have a better insight than the security services in all of the above countries but can only type nobody for his name on an internet blog!

    Nice to see such modesty in the modern world 🙂

  • Iftikhar Ahmad


    There is no difference between the policies of BNP, Tory or Labour, as far as Muslim community is concerned.

    Muslim community has been victim of racism and discrimination for the last 60 years by the British society in every walk of life. The situation has gone from bad to worse.

    Now Muslim community is vicitm of terrorism. Thousands of Muslim youths are being searched in streets for no reason and hundreds of them are behind the bar without any trial. British prisons are the training grounds for criminals and when they leave prisons there is a possibility that they would committ some kind of terrorist activities. There is a growing sense of alienation and insecurity among Muslim youths across Britain, inspite of two Muslim ministers, couple of MPs and Lords, an army of local councillors and a jungle of state funded Muslim organisations and so called Muslim leaders. They are the “show boys” of the British Establishment. None of them represents the needs and demands of the diverse Muslim community.

    Recently, Pakistani students were detained on terrorism chages by the police. Their arrest will lead to more scare-mongering.They were convicted even before trial. Gordon Brown said the arrests could have foiled a “very big terrorist plot”. The arrests have quickly led to accusations against Pakistan for not doing enough in the fight against terror. Gordon Brown also believes that there are links between terrorists in Britain and terrorists in Pakistan. Pakistan has become the nexus of terrorism within the media, much of western think-tanks and government circles. Police could not find any thing suspicious. Britain had given Pakstan no evidence against them. Now they are going to be deported to cover up blunders and mistakes because of lack of evidence. Gordon Brown should tender an apology and they should be compensated and should be allowed to continye their education for better community relations and cohesion.

    Iftikhar Ahmad


  • Terry Wagar

    Eric Carlson and Joan Wagar, A,K,A, Doubleclick and Mrs Dash,( yes those are there nicknames they gave each other.) admitted to poisoning me while I was a plasma donor back in 2005.

    Eric Carlson pedofied me behind prison walls and then framed me as a pedophile on march 26th 2007, I caught the crime on a audio recorder I put in Joan’s purse.

    there were people in authority helping them with this and nobody in authority will help they pretend nothing happened and refuse to investigate this.

    Eric Carlson changed his hair color and his name to Gashel and Clackamas Walmart was hiding him from my Family by pretending He’s someone else but this is not hidden, only ignored by the authority’s and media

    I’m disabled from being poisoned and the hospitals refuse to admit I’m poisoned.

    My Family is in danger from these people and I have no other recourse but to make these charges public.

    My name is Terry Wagar,Im from Portland Oregon and I’m backing up these charges.

    I have been threatened with harassment charges by a Sargent Walker, She is a Portland Police officer stationed at the OHSU hospital, for the non crime of reporting a multi murder conspiracy within that hospital.

    They dont give a s4!t Joan and Eric was poisoning a plasma donor!

    And how many god damn John Ray’s in authority are there in portland oregon!

    You damn serial killer.

    Where did Mrs Dash keep her stash? in A Garlic Salt Shaker!

    What did Doubleclick do with his Dick? You Pedo!

    Why you hiding A body double for Clackamas Walmart?

    Cover this up Sgt Walker!

    We have our Witch hunts right here in Portland Oregon, and they use it to justify murder.

    The Authority’s call it “Pedofied” it means they just run around spreading rumors about someone they want dead, they label that person A pedophile, turning hundreds of people against that person overnight.

    It makes it easy to get volunteer’s to lie for them so they can murder off that person.

    And no one complains, thinking to themselves “One less pedophile to worry about.


    It’s A great responsibility to report A crime the Authority’s don’t want reported!

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