The British government, like others arrayed against "terrorism" in the so-called GWOT, would have us the sheeple believe that they are on the side of the Good and the True, if not always the Beautiful. So having relied upon one sole informant, and, acting on the principle that in such matters it's better to be safe than sorry, it ignored advice from its own intelligence agencies that the information may not be reliable. They barge into a Muslims family's home at Forest Gate in London with about 300 armed police personnel, shoot and injure one of the family members, and destroy the premises in their search for biological or chemical weapons. They make a public spectacle of the raid on the premises, alarm the neighbourhood and attempt to tarnish the family's reputation. Having found nothing in the home, they are then forced into admitting that their intelligence was faulty, then finally into apologizing to the family for the attack.
There's more behind this story than just embarrassment. Back in February 2001, Jason Burke, the author of one of the most definitive works on the Al Qaeda, described the treachery with which the intelligence agencies recruit Muslims to gather intelligence about terrorist cells. Treachery again led to some innocent Arab business men living in the UK finding themselves in Guantanamo. Add that to the repeatedly demonstrated tendency of the political masters in the US and UK to demand intelligence to support their policies, and the remarkable ability of the intelligence agencies to repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot hardly seems surprising any more. Indeed, it would make Arabella Weir's humourous suggestion that the Forest Gate embarrassment was the result of an Al Qaeda counter-intelligence operation seem slightly less funny, were it not highly implausible. The Al Qaeda just doesn't seem to be embarrassing too many people.
But now it seems that the real mastermind behind the July 7 bombings in London last year, Haroon Rashid Aswat, was actually an MI6 asset, whom the British had refused to hand over to US authorities. Aswat was also associated with a group called Al Muhajiroun that was recruited by British intelligence to supply Muslims willing to fight in the Kosovo Liberation Army. The KLA at the time was being trained by the British and US special forces to create the conditions for the "humanitarian" intervention by NATO that followed in 1999.
With skullduggery on this scale, the "war on terror" is set to continue for a long time.
[Thanks to Agitpapa for some of the links which (s)he provided in an anonymous posting in response to this comment in The Guardian.]