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Intelligence Services Commissioner: Report

Volume 614: debated on Thursday 15 September 2016

I have today laid before both Houses of Parliament the Intelligence Services Commissioner’s supplementary report on concerns raised by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) about the Government’s responsibilities in relation to partner counter-terrorism units overseas. The statutory responsibilities of the Intelligence Services Commissioner, the right hon. Sir Mark Waller, include oversight of compliance with the consolidated guidance to intelligence officers and service personnel on the detention and interviewing of detainees overseas, and on the passing and receipt of intelligence relating to detainees (“the consolidated guidance”). I am grateful to Sir Mark for his detailed examination of the allegations regarding the detention of Michael Adebolajo in Kenya in 2010, which were raised in the ISC’s November 2014 report about the intelligence relating to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. I welcome the fact that he has firmly rejected any suggestion of a conspiracy by the security and intelligence agencies in Mr Adebolajo’s detention and that he has found no evidence to support the allegation that he was subject to mistreatment at the hands of the Kenyan authorities. The Government will look carefully at Sir Mark’s detailed analysis of the handling of this case and will take steps to address the issues where he has identified shortcomings in the response at the time, drawing upon the report’s recommendations. In particular, Sir Mark has noted that the consolidated guidance, though still fit for purpose and carefully followed by intelligence officers and service personnel, could benefit from further clarification in certain aspects. The Government will consider further what changes could be made to the consolidated guidance to address the points Sir Mark raises.