Parliament’s security watchdog is anticipated to demand to search the secret intelligence analysis within the wait on of the west’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, sources enjoy said, after ministers claimed they were caught unawares by flee of the Taliban takeover.
The intelligence and security committee (ISC), which is chaired by the Tory MP Julian Lewis, has the potential to demand intelligence documents and haul spies sooner than it to give evidence.
Several sources shut to the committee told the Guardian that its members were “extraordinarily doubtless” to ask to search the joint intelligence committee (JIC) assessments bearing on to Afghanistan.
This would demonstrate whether Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab were upright to pronounce that the flee of the give approach to the Afghan government and takeover by the Taliban was once no longer anticipated.
The prime minister has insisted there was once no failure in intelligence-gathering, but additionally that “the give approach to the Afghan forces has been mighty faster than anticipated”.
One source shut to the ISC said there was once already scepticism among those with information of the intelligence community that Britain’s spies did no longer foresee the situation and warn that a swift takeover by the Taliban was once on the least a chance.
In the US, a conventional CIA counter-terrorism chief has claimed the Trump and Biden administrations were warned by intelligence chiefs that the Afghan army’s resistance to the Taliban could give method “internal days” after an over-lickety-split withdrawal.
Lewis declined to commentary on the future programme of labor for the UK committee, although he said within the Home of Commons on Wednesday that the question of intelligence bearing on to Afghanistan was once “pertinent”. A spokesperson for the committee said it did no longer commentary on its work programme.
The ISC could enjoy to consume a proper decision on demanding the intelligence and whether to originate an inquiry when it subsequent meets, which is understood no longer to be till October. It doesn’t enjoy the potential to contemplate into ongoing operations.
Alternatively, there is already stress constructing in parliament for a capacity to compare whether the UK suffered a catastrophic intelligence failure bearing on to Afghanistan, with some MPs such because the conventional defence minister Tobias Ellwood calling for a beefy public inquiry. Yet one more Tory MP, Andrew Bridgen, pressed Johnson to provide the intelligence review to parliament, but the prime minister refrained from the question.
Dominic Grieve, a conventional chair of the committee, told the Guardian on Thursday that it was once up to the ISC whether to originate an investigation, but he believed it could even be a “priceless narrate”.
He said: “The prime minister is on file as asserting there was once no intelligence failure. He says we knew this was once a chance, even though the rapidity of give method was once faster than anticipated. Due to this reality for the ISC to independently confirm the prime minister is lawful about this and how this was once factored into the decision-making of government could be very attention-grabbing to study about.”
Yet one more conventional chair of the committee, Ann Taylor, a Labour gaze, said the ISC “must undertake an pressing and comprehensive inquiry into what can only be known as an intelligence failure”. She said: “There are experiences that the government needs to curtail the potential of that committee. I am hoping that that won’t happen, because it needs to be allowed to work in an unfettered manner.”
Taylor told the Home of Lords: “It is inconceivable that the west would enjoy gone ahead with this withdrawal on this form if we had identified that this catastrophe would enjoy unfolded because it has. There must had been a comprehensive intelligence review on the very ultimate stage, both within the UK and within the US, with whom we work so carefully. Due to this reality, we have got to ask what went wrong and we decide to enjoy a beefy and pressing inquiry into this.”