UK Intelligence Services Investigating Wuhan Lab Leak Theory: Report

Inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan in 2017.BY
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

Intelligence agencies in the United Kingdom are reportedly working with the United States to investigate the theory that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic leaked from a laboratory.

The former head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Sir Richard Dearlove, said that the question of a lab leak has become an “intelligence issue” in which British spies may need to “incentivise” defectors within the communist country to come forward and reveal the truth of the origin of the Wuhan virus.

A senior Whitehall security source told the Daily Telegraph — a newspaper with close ties to the ruling Conservative government — that British intelligence investigators are working alongside their American counterparts to uncover the real origin of the pandemic.

“We are contributing what intelligence we have on Wuhan, as well as offering to help the American to corroborate and analyse any intelligence they have that we can assist with,” said the source.

“What is required to establish the truth behind the coronavirus outbreak is well-sourced intelligence rather than informed analysis, and that is difficult to come by.”

Sir Richard Dearlove, who has been a vocal proponent of the idea that the virus emanated from the Wuhan laboratory, said that many scientists refrained from backing the idea out of fear of appearing to side with former President Donald Trump.

“Nobody wanted to associate themselves with Trump, and now you’ve got Biden they’ve all literally switched sides,” Sir Richard said, adding: “Now, suddenly, the dam has broken.”

“I sent this material to Porton Down a year ago and what infuriates me is that a year ago people refused to listen to us. Over the last year anyone who thought that has been accused of being a conspiracy theorist, and told you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Last Sunday, a report from the Wall Street Journal claimed that in November of 2019 — before the recognised beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic — three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been hospitalised with symptoms similar to the Chinese coronavirus.

The revelation has sparked a renewed interest in the theory that the virus emanated out of the Chinese laboratory, which had been studying various coronaviruses, even receiving money from American taxpayers to conduct the research.

Following the report, Dr Anthony Fauci — who signed off on the funding sent to the Wuhan lab — admitted that he has not ruled out a lab leak as the origin of the virus, despite previously deriding the possibility.

On Saturday, the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom scoffed at suggestions that the Wuhan virus came from a lab leak in China, even going on to suggest that it may have leaked from an American laboratory.

“Origin-tracing is a serious scientific issue. U.S. intent to let its intelligence service play a leading role in conducting the research only shows that facts [and ] truth is the last thing the U.S. side cares about. It is only seeking political manipulation for the purpose of scapegoating,” the Chinese embassy wrote on social media.

“It is the U.S. that has the largest scale and the highest number of bio-labs in the world with media coverage exposing the virus leak at the biochemical research base Fort Detrick. Does the U.S. side have the will and courage to invite WHO experts for investigation?” the Chinese added.

The communist embassy also pointed to the widely criticised report from the World Health Organization (WHO), which cleared the Wuhan Institute of Virology of having caused the pandemic, despite having limited access to the site.

A professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, Lawrence Young, cast further doubt on the WHO report, saying on Friday that there was “a lot of concern” within the scientific community that the investigation lacked detail.

“They were not given access to any of the primary data within that laboratory. It feels too much of a coincidence, doesn’t it, that the original cases were detected in Wuhan and what you have there is a very large centre working on coronaviruses,” Prof Young said.

Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove said: “This is the biggest disruptive event globally since World War II. It’s huge. We sit there and we take at face value what the Chinese say, and what I’m advocating is an absolutely clear debate and a proper discussion, and not complete suppression.

“If it did come out of the lab it raises all sorts of questions about virological research, and the mere fact this has happened and disrupted all the world’s economy, what does that say to an aggressive malign regime who might want to go mucking around with a virus?”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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