Back on the street, 21/7 bomb gang’s ter­ror­ist helpers

Daily Mail - - Life - By Chris Green­wood, Emily Kent Smith and Ian Drury

MANY of those who helped the 2005 bomb at­tack­ers are among jailed ter­ror­ists al­ready back on the streets.

More than 400 dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals have com­pleted their time be­hind bars, in­clud­ing three who were given life sen­tences, it was re­vealed yes­ter­day.

Among them are some who helped sui­cide bombers cause car­nage in Lon­don on July 7, 2005.

Oth­ers in­clude five rad­i­cals who plot­ted a dirty bomb at­tack and those who har­boured some of the failed July 21 bombers – who in­cluded Ramzi Mo­hammed and Muk­tar Said Ibrahim. The pair re­main in prison.

Fol­low­ing yes­ter­day’s rev­e­la­tion, one se­nior of­fi­cer de­scribed those who have been re­leased as the ‘Al Qaeda gen­er­a­tion’ and said many are still ‘in­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous’. Sources said po­lice and the se­cu­rity ser­vices are stretched to the limit deal­ing with the ter­ror group’s legacy and the mod­ern threat of those in­spired by Is­lamic State.

They said many of those re­leased re­fused to par­tic­i­pate in schemes de­signed to defuse the ex­treme be­liefs fuelling ter­ror­ist crimes.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search by Sky News, 418 of the 583 peo­ple im­pris­oned on ter­ror charges since Septem­ber 2001 have been re­leased.

Of these, 164 con­victed ter­ror­ists have been re­leased from jail in the past two years alone – many af­ter serv­ing sen­tences of be­tween 12 months and four years.

Most of those con­victed of ter­ror of­fences but given rel­a­tively short terms had as­sisted those who in­tended to carry out at­tacks. A to­tal of 24 were re­leased hav­ing served more than four years and are likely to have played more of a part in ac­tu­ally plan­ning atroc­i­ties.

The fig­ures will in­clude a small num­ber of do­mes­tic ex­trem­ists and those linked to the vi­o­lence in North­ern Ire­land.

Among those re­leased is shoe bomber Saa­jid Ba­dat, 33, who planned to blow up a transat­lantic flight in De­cem­ber 2001. He was sen­tenced to 13 years in 2005 but was re­leased early af­ter he agreed to be a Gov­ern­ment in­for­mant.

An­other So­ma­lian Is­lamist, Is­mail Ab­du­rah­man, hid 21/7 bomber Hus­sein Os­man for three days. Af­ter be­ing handed an eight-year sen­tence in Fe­bru­ary 2008 he served just three be­hind bars. In 2012, he won the right to stay in Bri­tain on hu­man rights grounds.

Os­man’s wife Yeshi Girma was re­leased af­ter be­ing jailed for 15 years – re­duced to 11 on ap­peal – for fail­ing to tell po­lice about his plans and help­ing him flee abroad.

Many of those still in jail, in­clud­ing fer­tiliser bomb plot chief Omar Khyam have re­fused to co-op­er­ate with de-rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion schemes.

Oth­ers who were re­leased are al­ready back in­side af­ter new of­fences. Miza­nur Rah­man was jailed in 2007 for sup­port­ing Al Muha­jiroun. He was im­pris­oned again with An­jem Choudary in Septem­ber for rais­ing sup­port for IS.

The fig­ures came as MI5 chief An­drew Parker warned that po­lice and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices had foiled 12 ter­ror plots since June 2013. He warned that the threat posed by IS would last for a gen­er­a­tion.

For­mer home sec­re­tary Lord Blun­kett said more work was needed to mon­i­tor ex­trem­ists af­ter re­lease, adding: ‘If there’s any in­di­ca­tion at all they are re­con­nect­ing with or­gan­ised ter­ror­ist groups, the in­ter­ven­tion can take place very quickly rather than al­low­ing them to com­mit an­other act.’

Emma Webb, of the Henry Jack­son So­ci­ety think-tank, said it ap­peared cur­rent de-rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion pro­grammes ‘are not reach­ing their tar­get au­di­ence, and will in­evitably lead to a high rate of re­of­fend­ing’.

‘In­cred­i­bly dan­ger­ous’

Ar­rest: 21/7 plot­ters Muk­tar Said Ibrahim and Ramzi Mo­hammed

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