David Anderson QC, who served until February 2017 as Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation before returning to full-time practice, has been appointed by the Home Secretary to provide independent quality assurance to police and MI5 reviews of the four terrorist attacks sustained in London and Manchester over the spring.
These internal reviews concern the periods prior to each attack. They will examine the available intelligence on the attackers and how it was used. They will also evaluate processes and systems, including for the management of former subjects of interest, and make recommendations for their improvement in the light of the evolving threat.
This role is without clear precedent, at least in the UK. David Anderson is not conducting the reviews but will have full access to them and is tasked with satisfying the Home Secretary and National Security Committee that all the relevant questions in relation to what was known and done before the attacks have been asked, and appropriate conclusions drawn. He will produce by the end of October a classified report for the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, and may also provide a public version of his conclusions.
The terms of reference for David’s role were sent to him in a letter from the Home Secretary dated 28 June (available here).