Terror suspects to remain anonymous despite controls on them lifted
Seven men who pose threat to national security to be freed from court restrictions but their identity remains a secret
Left: Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed. Right: the terror suspect wearing a burka
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed fled his Tpim controls last year after disguising himself ina burka Photo: PA/REUTERS
By Tom Whitehead, and David Barrett
10:00PM GMT 17 Jan 2014
Britain’s most dangerous terror suspects who are being freed from strict court controls will be allowed to live anonymously in communities – to protect their human rights.
Seven Islamist fanatics, including two allegedly linked to the 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, will have lifetime anonymity when restrictions on their activities expire next week.
It means the public cannot be told who they are or where they are living even though the men, considered a threat to national security, will be free to walk the streets with impunity and associate with whoever they wish.
The men have all been subject to terrorism prevention and investigation measures (TPIMs), which replaced controls orders and were designed to restrict their activities.
MPs on Friday night called for a review of the anonymity orders and Labour will next week demand individual risk assessments are carried out on each of the men, including whether anonymity should remain in place.
Diana Johnson, shadow crime & security minister, said: "The Government needs to explain what the plan is to deal with the extremist terror suspects whose TPIMs run out at the end of January because of Theresa May's decision to downgrade terror laws.
“These are suspects that only this year the Home Secretary was arguing were too dangerous to be left uncontrolled and that was agreed to by judges.
"We need an urgent independent threat assessment of whether TPIMs on any of the January suspects needs to be extended. If Theresa May won't do this, the Prime Minister needs to instead."
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, added: "It would be odd to have a situation where anonymity remains in place even though these orders have expired.
“It would be sensible to have a review of this situation."
At the start of this year eight terror suspects were subject to TPIMs, which include curfews, restrictions on Internet access and controls on who they meet.
By next Sunday, the controls on seven of those eight will have expired because of the two year limit, which can only be extended if new evidence of terror activity is found.
The seven include a man who was allegedly a "key coordinator" of the 2006 liquid bomb plot to blow up transatlantic airliners and an associate suspected of being a planned suicide bomber in that plot.
Others include a man said to have attended a terror training camp in Cumbria alongside four of the failed July 21 suicide bombers and a man who was accused of being trained by the al-Qaeda affiliated terror group al-Shabaab, which is based on Somalia.
Another was accused of being part of a British network of fanatics seeking terror training in Pakistan.
TPIMs were imposed because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the men for any offences.
But they can remain anonymous amid fears identifying them would breach their human right, either on privacy grounds or because their safety may be put at risk.
David Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth, said: “I am very concerned by this. The Human Rights Act has saddled us with some terrible things, and it’s quite right that we’re looking to get rid of it.”
Applications to have anonymity orders lifted can be made to the courts but the only two that have been successful so far were on two individuals who had breached their orders and fled. Both remain at large.
The police and MI5 will now have the task of monitoring the men without the help of court restrictions.
It is feared the cost of extra surveillance could be as much as £20 million a year.
James Brokenshire, the security minister, said: “It is not possible to discuss individual cases, but the police and Security Service have been working for some time to put tailored plans in place to manage the risk posed by these individuals once their TPIM restrictions are removed.
“These plans, which are similar to those put in place for the release of prisoners who have served their sentences, are kept under constant review.”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10580397/Terror-suspects-to-remain-anonymous-despite-controls-on-them-lifted.html