A renegade British intelligence officer said in remarks published Monday that three IRA bombings could have been prevented if his former secret service bosses had been more efficient.
The accusation was made by David Shayler, a former member of Britain's security service who was arrested in Paris over the weekend and placed in preventive custody while Britain prepared an extradition order.In an interview published in the Daily Telegraph, Shayler alleged that three different Irish Republican Army bombings on the British mainland could have been avoided.
He claimed to have evidence that over-adherence to bureaucratic procedure by his former bosses in the MI5 security service had cost at least one life - a man killed when an IRA bomb went off in London's financial city district in 1993.
"It is not the fault of MI5. It's the fault of the intelligence community as a whole. This is a problem of having different organizations. They can blame each other," he said in the interview, which was conducted last month.
The Daily Telegraph said it could not give further details of Shayler's claims because of a British government injunction.
Shayler, detained by French police at the request of the British government, faces charges under Britain's Official Secrets Act. Britain has 40 days to prepare an extradition request.
Shayler's lawyer, John Wadham, said he would fight the extradition order and doubted if a British court would ever convict his client.
"His only fault was to disclose malpractice and abuse within MI5. There was never any intention to damage national security," Wadham said.