Britain is set for a major shake-up in counterterrorism, Home Secretary John Reid hinted yesterday.
The security services have been criticised in the past for not working together as closely as they should, and Mr Reid suggested the reaction to terrorism needed to be "seamless".
He told MPs: "This is now a serious threat. It no longer is easily divided into foreign affairs, defence or domestic affairs.
"It therefore needs a seamless, integrated, driven, politically overseen counter-terrorism strategy." He said his report into counter-terrorism had now been handed to Tony Blair.
Mr Reid said he would consider extending dentention beyond the current 28 days if he was provided with a "factually-based case" and measures which would reassure Parliament that it would not be used "arbitrarily".
"That case has not yet been put to me," he told the Commons all-party Home Affairs Select Committee.
"That is why no one should assume that a particular piece of legislation should be brought to the House."
David Winnick MP asked whether, if there was no evidence to support extending beyond 28 days, the House of Commons had been right to reject the Government's original plans.
Mr Reid said: "It is possible for something to be right at a given time even in the absence of evidence that later becomes available.
"It is not necessarily true that because the evidence of something did not exist at a particular time, for example the genome, that the genome did not exist.
"It is possible for something to exist and only to be discovered later."
Committee chairman John Denham MP then asked Mr Reid: "Have you been talking to Donald Rumsfeld?"
It was a reference to the former US defence secretary's infamous comment in 2002 about "known knowns", "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns".
The new measures are expected in the New Year.