Spying on the public does not protect civilians or result in greater security, according to…the M15.

Senior security sources told the Independent newspaper that increasing surveillance of electronic communications for members of the public, would not have prevented the beheading incident which took place last week.

The remarks will be seen as a counter-argument to those suggested by Home secretary Theresa May who claimed that the Draft Communications Bill was “essential for the intelligence agencies” to combat the threat of terrorism.

The source also told the Independent that any decision to proceed with the Bill was a political one and therefore would have to take civil liberties into account.

It was also reported that M15 boss Andrew Parker, wrote to to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee admitting that the security services knew about the activities of the Woolwich suspects Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, who may have been approached to act as informers.

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