The Government faces embarrassment after it emerged that a suspected extremist on the run after eluding an MI5 and police operation had previously been jailed for 15 months for breaking anti-terror orders.
The Home Office faces demands to explain its "complacent" terrorist monitoring of missing Somali-born Briton Ibrahim Magag amid speculation that he has joined British jihadists in East Africa.
Magag has previously tampered with his monitoring equipment, lied about why he was late reporting home for a night-time curfew and used a computer in breach of the terms of an order designed to protect national security, according to 2010 High Court papers.
The 28-year-old – who has previously been known only as BX – was jailed for 15 months because of the breaches, according to a report last year by the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson, QC.
Magag and nine other men are currently subject to a TPim (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) introduced in December 2011 as a last resort for suspects thought to pose a risk to national security but cannot be deported or put on trial.
The Home Office yesterday declined to say if Magag had been subject to tighter surveillance given his previous breaches but Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper demanded answers from both the Government and the police about how Magag had been able to abscond. Under the old regime, Magag had been ordered to relocate to the West of England to take him away from a group of Britons believed to be fixers and financial backers for al-Qa'ida-linked terrorists in Somalia.
But he was allowed to return to London under a new monitoring programme introduced by the Government in December 2011 that ended the controversial relocation rule.
Mr Anderson said the absconding was "very unwelcome news" and added that the government had been concerned in 2010 about the possibility Mr Magag would go back to East Africa.
Ibrahim Magag was last seen on Boxing Day evening in Camden, north London. The alarm was raised after he skipped his night-time residency condition.Reuse content