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Eliza Manningham-Buller's first Reith Lecture: Terror

Monday 5 September 2011, 17:50

Jennifer Clarke Jennifer Clarke

Editor's update: The first of Eliza Manningham-Buller's first Reith Lecture is now available as a transcript and as a podcast to download - PM.

Eliza Mannigham-Buller

Tomorrow Radio 4 broadcasts Eliza Manningham-Buller's first Reith Lecture, Terror, at 09.00 BST. It will be repeated on Saturday 10 September at 22.15 BST.

On the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the United States on 11 September, the former director-general of MI5 reflects on the lasting significance of that day. Was it a "terrorist" crime, an act of war or something different? She offers a unique perspective on the event, its impact on the world and the repercussions which are still being felt today.

After the Tuesday transmission, you will be able to download the programme as a podcast and read a transcript on the Radio 4 website.

During the broadcast we will be tweeting links to useful relevant content from the @BBC_Reith twitter account, and will share some highlights via the @BBCRadio4 twitter account. Please include the hashtag #Reith if you would like to join the debate. You can also share your thoughts and reaction to the lecture here on the blog.

In the meantime, you may enjoy the range of "Reith Extra" programmes which we have been podcasting via Radio 4's Documentary of the Week podcast. These include histories of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, and a special programme from 2005, How Islam got Political, in which Frank Gardner traces the rise of political Islam in Britain and around the world.

You can also listen to many of these and other programmes from Radio 4's 9/11 coverage here. Radio 4's controller Gwyneth Williams has also written about the station's coverage on the Radio 4 blog.

Radio 4 has also recently published the Reith archive, and you can explore more than 60 years of lectures on the Radio 4 website, where you can listen to the programmes and read the transcripts. You can download the previous Reith Lectures via the two archive podcasts 1948 to 1976 and 1977 to 2010.

Jennifer Clarke is senior multiplatform producer, Radio Current Affairs


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    Comment number 1.

    Well, in anticipation of the lies and spin, no doubt the reflective rhetoric will be to consolidate the propoganda that we should all still live in fear of Fu Manchu. 9/11 and 7/7 were the work of the US, British and Israeli governments. Period.
    Stop living in fear, take your money out of your bank, go on holiday and avoid England during 2012, it's gonna get nasty!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Why has no one asked why the architect for the twin towers should not have been prosecuted for designing skyscrapers that collapse so easily when an aeroplane hits the top of it whether accidentally or deliberately. I have no doubt that if the Empire State building had been hit by both planes it would have stood and many less people would have died. On 9/11 many must have died when the buildings collapsed and Bin Laden must have been amazed at the success.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    It's amazing that MI5 could come to an immediate conclusion that al-Qaeda was responsible, and the following day they and those in Washington could have no doubt about their atrocities, before carrying out any forensic analysis or collecting any evidence.

    As Eliza Manningham-Buller herself said, it would be wrong to suggest that all terrorists belong to al-Qaeda. She stated in answer to a question that she was motivated by discovering the truth, but that's just what they didn't do. Instead, they were mutually assured because they were amongst "friends whom they trusted".

    A false-flag attack would mimic what people may be expecting, and any intelligence officer would know that. "But I do not expect terrorism as a tool, often used by states in earlier decades, now used largely by groups, to disappear", she told us. But why should we believe that anything has actually changed from the days when terrorism was used as a tool by states?

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I was intrigued, if a little disconcerted, by Eliza Manningham-Buller's allusion to the disturbing phenomena of so-called 'home grown' terrorists, but her failure to consider more than one reason for their emergence.

    She appears to believe that theirs was a response to the perceived unjust attacks against Muslim countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. What of the fact that in the region of 70% of the Imams preaching to young Muslims in British mosques come directly from Middle eastern countries, where religious and cultural practices are often stuck somewhere in the dark ages, where there is little empathy with or understanding and acceptance of Western freedoms, and where human rights are severely curtailed? I wonder why those able to effect necessary change, are unable or unwilling to acknowledge and respond to the blindingly obvious?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    @Colin Wilson: You might be surprised to learn that the airplane impacts were not responsible for the collapses. NIST, the Government agency responsible for the examination of the structure from impact to collapse initiation, said so. In addition, a structural engineer who worked on the original design stated that the buildings did what they were designed to do: withstand airplane impacts.


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