To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on al-Qaeda terror activity in (a) the Middle East and (b) the rest of the world.
Al-Qaeda continues to pose a significant threat in the Middle East and globally, despite some very considerable success against their leaders and operations. Al-Qaeda and related groups will only be overcome through sustained international effort and co-operation. The UK will continue to play a leading role in the fight against international terrorism.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on evidence of al-Qaeda links to the ricin plant found in Iraq.
We have received a number of reports on facilities in north-east Iraq in territory controlled by Ansar al Islam, and their links to al-Qaeda. It is the practice of successive Governments not to comment on intelligence matters. The Security and Intelligence Agencies are not within the scope of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (Paragraph 6, Part I)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) funds and (b) personnel have been allocated to the war in Iraq which would otherwise have been directed at the al-Qaeda threat.
None. Coalition action in Iraq has not been at the expense of the campaign against international terrorism, which has continued unabated. There has never been a question of choosing between the two threats. The downfall of the regime in Iraq will reduce the threat of terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.