NEW BLITZ ON FREED JI­HADIS

As PM re­veals 74 con­victed ter­ror­ists are back on the streets, po­lice make first dra­matic ar­rest in...

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By David Bar­rett, Re­becca Cam­ber and Arthur Martin

PO­LICE last night made the first ar­rest in a new blitz on con­victed ter­ror­ists who are free to walk our streets.

An Is­lamist jailed along­side Lon­don Bridge killer Us­man Khan was dra­mat­i­cally held for al­legedly plot­ting a fresh atrocity.

Nazam Hus­sain, 34, was de­tained just hours af­ter Boris John­son an­nounced a top-level re­view into the li­cence con­di­tions of 74 con­victed ter­ror­ists who are now out of jail.

Hus­sain was orig­i­nally jailed in 2012 as part of a ter­ror cell which was plot­ting to at­tack the Lon­don Stock Ex­change and other high-pro­file tar­gets in the City of Lon­don.

His ar­rest means new of­fences were al­legedly dis­cov­ered within hours of the re­view be­ing de­manded – rais­ing se­ri­ous ques­tions about how con­victed ter­ror­ists are su­per­vised af­ter be­ing freed from jail.

The po­lice move came two days af­ter Khan, 28, mur­dered two peo­ple at a pris­oner re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion con­fer­ence less than a year af­ter be­ing re­leased

from prison. His se­cond vic­tim was yes­ter­day named as former Cam­bridge Univer­sity stu­dent Saskia Jones, 23, who had re­cently ap­plied to join the po­lice. She had been vol­un­teer­ing at the con­fer­ence at Fish­mon­gers’ Hall, near Lon­don Bridge, when Khan be­gan his ram­page on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Miss Jones’ fam­ily paid trib­ute to her ‘funny, kind, pos­i­tive in­flu­ence’ and said she was ‘gen­er­ous to the point of al­ways want­ing to see the best in all peo­ple’.

Spe­cial­ist of­fi­cers from the West Mid­lands Counter-Ter­ror­ism Unit ar­rested Hus­sain in Stoke-on-Trent yes­ter­day. Sources con­firmed he was be­ing held ‘on sus­pi­cion of prepa­ra­tion of ter­ror­ist acts’.

He is be­lieved to have been freed from jail less than a year ago, at roughly the same time as Khan. In other de­vel­op­ments it emerged that:

Khan – who school­friends said used to carry a photo of Osama bin Laden – was poised to be­gin a course at Cam­bridge Univer­sity;

The au­thor­i­ties forced him to be ac­com­pa­nied by an es­cort on a pre­vi­ous trip to Lon­don in March but this time he was al­lowed to travel to the cap­i­tal alone by train;

The killer had been seen driv­ing a taxi in his home town of Stoke-on-Trent;

Bri­tain’s most no­to­ri­ous hate preacher An­jem Choudary claimed Khan and Hus­sain were ‘en­tirely in­no­cent’ when they were jailed for the Stock Ex­change plot in 2012.

Mr John­son yes­ter­day pledged to toughen anti-ter­ror laws and said it was ‘re­pul­sive’ that some­one as dan­ger­ous as Khan had served only eight years be­hind bars af­ter plot­ting to carry out acts of ter­ror­ism.

The Prime Min­is­ter told BBC1’s An­drew Marr Show: ‘I think it is ridicu­lous, I think it is re­pul­sive,

‘They are a threat to so­ci­ety’

that in­di­vid­u­als as dan­ger­ous as this man should be al­lowed out af­ter serv­ing only eight years and that’s why we are go­ing to change the law.’

He blamed Labour for chang­ing to the law in 2008 so of­fend­ers serv­ing Khan’s type of jail term were au­to­mat­i­cally re­leased without a pa­role hear­ing af­ter serv­ing half of it.

‘I’m sure peo­ple can imag­ine what we’re do­ing to en­sure that 74 other in­di­vid­u­als who’ve been let out early on the ba­sis of this Labour change in leg­is­la­tion, they are be­ing prop­erly in­vig­i­lated to make sure there is no threat,’ the Prime Min­is­ter said.

Khan was on li­cence and wear­ing a GPS mon­i­tor­ing tag when he at­tended the con­fer­ence on pris­oner re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion hosted by a Cam­bridge Univer­sity scheme called Learn­ing To­gether at Fish­mon­gers’ Hall.

The other per­son killed was Jack Mer­ritt, 25, from Cot­ten­ham, Cam­bridgeshir­e, who worked in the univer­sity’s crim­i­nol­ogy depart­ment.

His griev­ing fam­ily said he was a ‘beau­ti­ful, tal­ented boy’ who died ‘do­ing what he loved’. Flo­ral trib­utes were placed at the scene in mem­ory of Mr Mer­ritt yes­ter­day, in­clud­ing a sign which read: ‘I love you for­ever. I am so so proud of you.’

Both the vic­tims were killed in­side the build­ing be­fore Khan was bun­dled out­side where he was over­pow­ered by mem­bers of the pub­lic and then shot dead by po­lice.

Two other vic­tims re­main in a sta­ble con­di­tion in hos­pi­tal. A third has been al­lowed home.

Khan had ap­plied for a ‘con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion’ course at Cam­bridge Univer­sity and was due to be­gin study­ing there within weeks. Se­cu­rity ser­vices are analysing all the elec­tronic de­vices seized from his ad­dress in Stafford to work out how long he had been plan­ning the at­tack and whether any­one else was in­volved.

One White­hall source said: ‘It is still quite a puzzle as to how some­one who ap­peared to be a re­formed char­ac­ter de­cided to do this.’

Khan was among the 3,000 ter­ror­ists be­ing mon­i­tored by the se­cu­rity ser­vices, but he was not un­der round-the- clock surveillan­ce, it is un­der­stood.

To have mon­i­tored him any more closely would have taken re­sources away from some­one known to be plan­ning an at­tack, sources said.

Dr Rakib Eh­san, re­search fel­low at se­cu­rity think-tank the Henry Jack­son So­ci­ety, said: ‘A more un­com­pro­mis­ing ap­proach must be taken when deal­ing with those who have been found guilty of such crimes, in the name of broader pub­lic safety.

‘The 74 other re­leased ji­hadists are likely to in­clude those who con­tinue to pose a threat to so­ci­ety.

‘We know Us­man Khan’s orig­i­nal co-con­spir­a­tors to be amongst the most hard­ened ji­hadists. All were con­victed for in­volve­ment with plot­ting to carry out deadly ter­ror­ist at­tacks on lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing the Lon­don Stock Ex­change.

‘In light of the deadly act of ter­ror on Fri­day, there is a strong case for other plot­ters who have been re­leased from prison, to be re­called im­me­di­ately by the au­thor­i­ties. These are dan­ger­ous peo­ple who all could pose a sim­i­lar risk to so­ci­ety.’

A po­lice spokesman said: ‘Of­fi­cers from the West Mid­lands Counter Ter­ror­ism Unit have ar­rested a man in Stoke-on-Trent. A search war­rant was con­ducted... in con­nec­tion to a wider on-go­ing re­view of ex­ist­ing li­cence con­di­tions of con­victed ter­ror­ism of­fend­ers.

‘As a re­sult of a search of his home ad­dress, the 34- year- old was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of prepa­ra­tion of ter­ror­ist acts con­trary to Sec­tion 5 of the Ter­ror­ism Act 2006.

‘These searches con­tinue.’

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