Brother of Bali bomb victim condemns MI5 for lack of terror warning

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The Independent Online

The families of the backpackers and rugby players who were killed in the Bali bombing condemned the Government yesterday for failing to warn of a terrorist threat.

The families of the backpackers and rugby players who were killed in the Bali bombing condemned the Government yesterday for failing to warn of a terrorist threat.

As the inquest into 18 of the 26 British victims opened, the brother of one of those killed was still angry that the level of the Foreign Office travel warning had not been increased although MI5 had new intelligence.

Tobias Ellwood, 36, whose brother Jon, 37, died in the attacks in which 202 people were killed, will meet lawyers today to see if action can be taken against the security services.

"MI5 were guilty. They had the information and they should have increased the threat levels and if they had done so my brother would be alive today,'' Mr Elwood told the hearing in Hammersmith, west London. He said the conference his brother was attending as well as the rugby tours would have been cancelled if such a warning were in place.

The 18 victims were at Kuta Beach shortly after 11pm on 12 October last year when a suicide bomber walked into Paddy's Bar and set off a kilogram of high explosive packed with metal fragments. Many customers ran into the street and were hit by the force of another bomb that tore through the Sari Club.

Relatives said there was chaos when they travelled to the Indonesian island to bring home the dead. The small number of consular officials was swamped, they said.

Thirty-five Islamic militants are on trial in Indonesia in connection with the attacks. The inquest continues.

* Britain and America are to stage a counter-terrorism exercise simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic in 2005. David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said the event would mark a "new direction" towards running far more complex exercises in public.

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