Ter­ror­ists freed early to be sent back to jail

Close as­so­ciate of Lon­don Bridge at­tacker first to be re­called to prison in crack­down

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By and

Hay­ley Dixon, Christo­pher Hope

Martin Evans

A CLOSE as­so­ciate of the Lon­don Bridge at­tacker was ar­rested and re­called to jail last night in a crack­down that could see a num­ber of ter­ror­ists re­turned to prison, The Daily Tele­graph can re­veal.

Nazam Hus­sain, 34, was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pre­par­ing ter­ror­ist acts.

He was one of 74 con­victed ter­ror­ists be­ing vet­ted in the wake of Fri­day’s at­tack and sources have told The Tele­graph “a num­ber” are ex­pected to be sent back to prison in the com­ing days. The ar­rest was not linked to the Lon­don Bridge at­tack, po­lice said.

Hus­sain and Us­man Khan were jailed in 2012 for ter­ror­ist of­fences. They were both re­leased on li­cence on the same day in December af­ter their sen­tences were re­duced on ap­peal.

It comes as the se­cond vic­tim of Khan’s at­tack was named as Saskia Jones, a 23-year-old Univer­sity of Cam­bridge grad­u­ate who re­cently ap­plied to join the po­lice.

She was a vol­un­teer with the univer­sity’s Learn­ing To­gether pro­gramme and at­tended the five-year an­niver­sary event for the pris­oner re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion scheme at Fish­mon­gers’ Hall where Khan be­gan his ram­page.

Yes­ter­day, Boris John­son sought to blame Labour for the early re­lease of Khan, who killed two peo­ple in the at­tack, as the po­lit­i­cal row in­ten­si­fied. The Prime Min­is­ter said Khan, who was freed half­way through a 16-year jail sen­tence, was on the streets be­cause of laws in­tro­duced by a “Leftie gov­ern­ment”. But Jeremy Cor­byn said cuts to pub­lic ser­vices had con­trib­uted to the ter­ror­ist at­tack, warn­ing that peo­ple can­not be kept safe “on the cheap”.

The Tele­graph can dis­close that Mr Cor­byn protested against the ex­tra­di­tion of Bri­tish ter­ror sus­pects to the US as An­jem Choudary, a men­tor to the Lon­don Bridge at­tacker, led an­other rally for the same cause just yards away, in 2012.

Sep­a­rately it emerged that venues which host large events should legally put in place a plan to re­spond to ter­ror at­tacks rather than re­ly­ing on “have-ago he­roes”. Sixty-nine vic­tims of ter­ror at­tacks wrote to today’s Tele­graph ask­ing for new rules to “man­date all own­ers of events spa­ces to have in place a ba­sic se­cu­rity plan”.

Jack Mer­ritt, the first vic­tim of the Lon­don Bridge at­tack to be named, is be­lieved to have worked with Khan when the ter­ror­ist was im­pris­oned at the high-se­cu­rity HMP White­moor.

It has emerged that Khan, who was shot dead by po­lice on Fri­day, was seen as a suc­cess story of Learn­ing To­gether, which Mr Mer­ritt worked for. He was used as a case study by the ini­tia­tive to high­light its work with ex-of­fend­ers. Staff mem­bers even took part in a 10km run to raise money to buy Khan a com­puter on his re­lease so he could con­tinue writ­ing, de­spite strin­gent bail con­di­tions that pre­vented him from us­ing the in­ter­net. He sent them a thankyou note say­ing the pro­ject had a “special place in my heart” and was “more than just an or­gan­i­sa­tion”.

But last week, Khan, 28, used his con­nec­tion to the pro­ject to cir­cum­vent his li­cence con­di­tions and get per­mis­sion to go to Lon­don un­su­per­vised.

In the wake of the at­tack, Mr John­son

an­nounced that the Gov­ern­ment was re­view­ing the li­cence terms of 74 ji­hadists who were freed. The Prime Min­is­ter told The An­drew Marr Show on BBC One that “the 74 other in­di­vid­u­als who’ve been let out early ... are be­ing prop­erly in­vig­i­lated so as to make sure there is no threat to the pub­lic”.

Min­istry of Jus­tice of­fi­cials are said to have worked through the week­end to vet the crim­i­nals, with Robert Buck­land, the Jus­tice Sec­re­tary, tak­ing charge and ex­pect­ing a report on all of them on his desk last night.

Of­fi­cials trawled through emails, call records and meet­ings with other former ex­trem­ists to “make sure the li­cens­ing con­di­tions have been com­plied with, and if not, why not”. One

source said “a num­ber” would be re­turned to prison in the com­ing days.

Hus­sain was vis­ited by West Mid­lands Po­lice of­fi­cers as­sist­ing with the re­views at his home in Stoke-on-trent on Satur­day night. Whilst check­ing that he was com­ply­ing with the terms of his li­cence they are un­der­stood to have found ma­te­rial that caused con­cern and he was taken into cus­tody.

A West Mid­lands spokesman said a 34-year-old had been ar­rested “on sus­pi­cion of prepa­ra­tion of ter­ror­ist acts con­trary to Sec­tion 5 of the Ter­ror­ism Act 2006.

“These searches con­tinue. There is no in­for­ma­tion to sug­gest that the ar­rested man was in­volved in the in­ci­dent at Lon­don Bridge on Fri­day. There was no im­me­di­ate risk to pub­lic safety.”

Hus­sain and Khan’s par­ents came from the same vil­lage in Pak­istan-con­trolled Kash­mir and the pair were close friends, grow­ing up in Stoke-on-trent.

Dis­ci­ples of the hate preacher

‘There is no in­for­ma­tion to sug­gest that the ar­rested man was in­volved in the in­ci­dent at Lon­don Bridge’

Choudary, they planned to travel to Pak­istan in Jan­uary 2011, but were ar­rested the month be­fore.

Hus­sain and Khan were given in­de­ter­mi­nate sen­tences for pub­lic pro­tec­tion. But in April 2013, both suc­cess­fully ap­pealed and were in­stead given 16year sen­tences, which meant they were el­i­gi­ble for re­lease in December last year.

While Khan moved to Stafford, Hus­sain re­turned to his fam­ily home in Stoke. Sources stressed that he was not ar­rested for breach­ing his bail con­di­tions.

Con­victed ter­ror­ists who are re­leased from prison un­der li­cence are re­quired to fol­low a strict set of con­di­tions. These in­clude things like not us­ing the in­ter­net, not mix­ing with former as­so­ci­ates, keep­ing to a strict cur­few and only at­tend­ing an ap­proved mosque.

As part of the re­view into con­victed ter­ror­ists on li­cence, The Tele­graph un­der­stands that former in­mates will be banned from at­tend­ing and speak­ing at events such as the one where Khan car­ried out his at­tack on Fri­day. He had been al­lowed to at­tend a sim­i­lar event in White­hall ear­lier this year with an es­cort. How­ever, last week he was given per­mis­sion to travel to Lon­don unat­tended to at­tend the Learn­ing To­gether sem­i­nar.

Saskia Jones, 23, was yes­ter­day named as the se­cond vic­tim of ji­hadist Us­man Khan. She had re­cently ap­plied to join the po­lice force

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