Back on the street, 21/7 bomb gang’s terrorist helpers
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’.
Arrest: 21/7 plotters Muktar Said Ibrahim and Ramzi Mohammed