Patrick Mercer and Another Glen Jenvey-Sourced Terror Tale

3 February 2009: Patrick Mercer MP, Chairman of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Counter-Terrorism, reportedly sends a letter to the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith:

Al-Firdaws English Forum Website (

One of my security sources has approached me with information relating to possible terrorist attacks targeted at train carriages carrying Members of Parliament. Discussions of this nature on website forums are clearly contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (on encouragement of terrorism and glorification of terrorism).

First, I would be very grateful if you could provide me with some reassurance that this matter will be investigated expeditiously by the relevant authorities as I am concerned for the safety of Members of Parliament when they travel to and from their constituencies each week.

Second, I would like to know when the individual responsible for posting these entries under the alias of ‘Resistance’ will be arrested or charged under the encouragement and glorification provisions found in Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

I have enclosed a copy of the relevant discussions and look forward to hearing from you.

A shortened version was also supposedly sent to Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The letters have been put into the public domain by Glen Jenvey; their authenticity is unconfirmed, although we know that Jenvey has in the past provided Mercer with evidence of Islamic extremism taken from Muslim discussion forums and the like. Alas, however, it was apparent in January that Jenvey had himself been making postings to Muslim sites in order to concoct the conspiracies he would then go on to “expose”. Tim Ireland laid out the initial evidence on 8 January; Private Eye published the story (derived from Tim without credit) on 20 January, and the Guardian followed up on 28 January. Mercer’s office ignored all this, and was offering Jenvey-sourced tabloid fodder to the People as late as March. Only towards the end of March did Mercer admit he may have been duped, after Jenvey launched a campaign of harrassment against Tim:

I disassociate myself from anything that Glen Jenvey may have claimed about Mr Tim Ireland and will be looking carefully into my other dealings with Mr Jenvey.

That “looking carefully” has fallen far short of a complete audit of Jenvey-sourced material that Mercer’s office may have used; instead, Mercer has tried to play down his association with Jenvey, and pressing the point further has elicted only “no comment” responses. We’ve seen how easy it was for Jenvey to get a scare story onto the front page of the Sun (helped by an endorsment from Mercer); it seems it was just as much of a doddle to get tainted material onto the desk of the Home Secretary.

Jenvey has since apologised for his attacks on Tim; however, the baton was subsequently taken up by a certain Charlie Flowers and various associates, who posted Tim’s home address widely on-line and threatened him with violence. Jenvey used to be associated with an organisation called the “VIGIL Network”, whose director, Dominic Wightman (var. Dominic Whiteman) had previously posed outside New Scotland Yard with Mercer. Flowers has also claimed to have worked with VIGIL, and his campaign began after Tim and I discovered that Wightman had lied to us in an attempt to manipulate our investigation of Jenvey into an attack on someone else, against whom he has a grudge. However, Wightman denies that he has had anything to do with the attacks on Tim by Flowers and his friends.

VIGIL folded in 2007, and Wightman failed to pay an employee thousands of pounds she was owed. After the courts found in her favour, he declared bankruptcy; however, he told me that he had moved assets out of reach (supposedly in order to write freely about Islamic extremists without fear of libel law), and on his website he boasts that he “was abroad with my family at our finca in South America” in January 2009, which was just weeks before he filed. The employee, who has since been vilified by Wightman in abusive terms, wrote to Mercer to ask for his help. However, while Mercer was happy to pose with Wightman for a photo-shoot, he was less inclined to intervene when it was discovered that the man he had endorsed was questionable. As with Jenvey, enquiries on the subject are now met with a “no comment” response.