Re: How many clues did they need?
"If they did their job rather than rumaging our emails and spying on kids yahoo messenger webcams there would have been better outcome."
Just out of interest, what exactly does "doing their job" mean in this context? I don't mean to bring logic into this massive let's-have-a-go-at-the-security-services circlejerk of yours, but people seem to be constantly saying "do their job" a lot, without exactly entailing what that means. They arrested the guy, but didn't have enough evidence to charge him, so they let him go.
At this stage, one of three things can happen.
1) They detain him without charge while they go look for evidence, perhaps indefinitely. Doesn't look so good on a civil liberties front, and 'disappearing someone' seems somehow worse than trawling through Facebook messages.
2) They tail him everywhere he goes. Apart from the fact that it would be ruinously expensive to put 24-hour surveillance on every person MI-5 thinks is dodgy, again I think civil liberties people might not be happy with tens of thousands of policemen tailing (almost exclusively) Muslims.
3) They gather more evidence. This evidence is likely to be electronic rather than physical, as we are only talking about a couple of guys who want to kill someone, not a major terrorist plot. And apparently the good evidence was on Facebook. As the article states, Facebook does not consider itself compelled to respect the UK warrant system, and as many people on here seem to think the UK government and security services should not be allowed access to these things at all without a warrant, which Facebook ignores, so this seems tough.
So, please tell me anyone, how exactly could the security services "just do their job" in this case without infringing on civil liberties? It's one thing to say that the security services shouldn't have broad access to this sort of material, but you then cannot tell them to just "do their job" afterwards, if there is no way for them to gather electronic evidence.