“We cannot say for certain that if US intelligence agencies had tapped the Afghan phone network sooner, we would have intercepted evidence in time to stop the 9/11 attacks. But it seems likely,” Mr Davis said. “It looks like a huge opportunity was missed.”
The businessmen’s dispute was heard in a New York court. In November 2003, Mr Davis said, an American judge sealed the case under national security laws after a request by the US Justice Department.
“The US intelligence agencies feared the consequences if the truth about their infighting emerged, and they were determined to stop this happening,” he said.
In 2009, the two British businessmen returned to the UK and began a High Court action over their dispute. According to Mr Davis, the US court order prevented them discussing some details of their dispute in the London court.
The MP said that the case illustrated the danger of Coalition plans to hold “closed-material procedures” where judges would hear national security cases in secret.
Jeremy Browne, a Foreign Office minister, insisted that the Government’s plans would not lead to situations like the one Mr Davis described.
“This is not about covering up embarrassments. It is about putting more information before the courts than is currently possible,” he said.