Sky News
February 17, 2009

Former MI5 boss Dame Stella Rimington has accused the Government of exploiting people’s fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties.

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She said ministers risked handing a victory to terrorists by making people “live in fear and under a police state”.

Dame Stella, who stood down as the Security Service’s director general in 1996, also accused the US of going too far.

She claimed the Guantanamo Bay camp and allegations of torture had acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists.

Her comments came as a report by a panel of leading judges and lawyers warned measures to tackle terrorism have undermined international human rights laws.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, Dame Stella said: “Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy.”

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