Hostage asks Government to come clean about kidnap

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The Independent Online

The only survivor among five Britons abducted by gunmen in Iraq says he fears that lessons are not being learnt by the British authorities.

Peter Moore has had to appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to obtain the notes of debriefing interviews he gave to British detectives after he was freed. Mr Moore wants the documents in an effort to piece together the events which led to the murder of four of his fellow hostages.

Mr Moore said the refusal by the police to hand over the notes was one of a series of "strange developments" related to the kidnappings in May 2007.

The British Government had claimed that militia fighters disguised as policemen had carried out the attack. But the 38-year-old IT consultant maintains that the captors were members of the security forces of the supposedly friendly Iraqi government.

Although Mr Moore was freed after two-and-a-half years, four bodyguards captured with him – Alan McMenemy, Jason Swindlehurst, Jason Creswell and Alan MacLachlan – were killed. The circumstances of the deaths have never been explained.

"There are a lot of questions to be answered about what happened in that kidnapping," said Mr Moore in an interview with The Independent.

"What happened was terrible. I am sure that everyone involved in the rescue effort – the Foreign Office, the military – worked extremely hard and did their best. But something went very wrong and questions have to be asked.

"Four out of five are dead: that's an 80 per cent failure rate in getting those kidnapped back alive, which is pretty poor by any standards.

"It would be good to know what lessons have been learnt from this by the UK authorities. The people the kidnappers wanted released were eventually released, but four people died."

He added: "I have no doubt about Iraqi official collusion into what happened. The men holding me showed me their official police IDs. We went through security checkpoints without a problem. I appreciate that's embarrassing for the British Government, but that's what happened.

"I only went to the IPCC because the police at first told me that the delay in giving me the interview notes was because it was taking a long time to transcribe. Then they said they will not release anything until after the last of the inquests of the four had taken place. But the coroner had authorised the release of the documents."

Mr Moore reveals his captors asked him to carry out repairs to computers and also download and translate material from laptops containing classified information about the US and British military, signifying that leaks were taking place at regular basis.

An email subsequently sent to Mr Moore from a senior SAS officer said that insufficient intelligence was provided about his whereabouts to launch a successful raid.