The government is considering the unprecedented step of making public secret intelligence on the July 7 bombings, it was revealed yesterday.
Charles Clarke, the home secretary, is consulting the prime minister, police and the security services about producing an edited version of what is known about the four London suicide bombers.
There were demands for an independent judicial inquiry after the attacks, which killed 52 innocent people on three underground trains at Aldgate, Edgware Road and King's Cross, and a bus in Tavistock Square.
But some felt this would duplicate much work already being undertaken and could drag on for years. Security sources have said that the Home Office thinks some sort of narrative about the bombers, the attacks themselves and the immediate aftermath could satisfy public desire for more information without compromising security concerns.
Police and other agencies have already gathered material about the backgrounds of the four British-born bombers - Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Hasib Hussain and Jermaine Lindsay. Ten days after the bombings it emerged that Mohammad Sidique Khan had featured on the fringes of an M15 investigation into a suspected terrorist cell. Agents looked at the Leeds-born teaching assistant last year but decided he did not pose a risk.
On Monday Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner, warned that the terrorist threat had intensified since July 7 and active cells were still plotting suicide attacks in the UK.
A Home Office spokesman said that Mr Clarke was considering "what materials he might be able to make available to support the parliamentary inquiries which are currently under way into various aspects of the 7 July atrocities.
"In this context he has been considering whether an account of what happened on 7 July could be prepared by the Home Office - including drawing together intelligence and police material - without the risk of compromising intelligence sources or prejudicing any possible prosecutions," the spokesman added. "We hope to be able to say something further on these issues in due course."