UK allows 18 jihadists to flee country while under monitoring from MI5 and police

'From a national security perspective this is unacceptable'

As many as 18 terror suspects have been able to flee Britain for the Middle East despite being monitored by MI5 or the police, it has been reported.

Including Siddhartha Dhar, the lead suspect behind Isis's latest video threatening the UK, all 18 were either on bail or on terror watch lists when they escaped the country join Isis or jihadist groups, according to the Sun.

The Independent has previously reported that Mr Dhar was among six individuals allowed to leave who had been linked to the now-proscribed al-Muhajiroun group.

And it is now reported that of the wider group of 18, five were on bail when they fled, five were under investigation by security services and two were subject to government Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs).

Another two left after serving sentences for terrorism and extremism,while three left the UK after prison sentences unrelated to terrorism - one despite being questioned by airport security.

Professor Anthony Glees, the director of the University of Birmingham's security studies centre, said: “From a national security perspective this is unacceptable.

“It allows Islamists to feel they can cock a snook at our criminal justice system.”

The Metropolitan Police told the Independent it was "not just the responsibility of the police" to keep tabs on people out on bail.

A spokesperson said: "The police service can grant bail to a person who has been arrested for an offence under PACE [Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984]. 

"There are occasions where courts will also grant bail and that will be a decision for the Judge.

"The conditions of bail will vary between each individual. However, ensuring conditions of bail are met is not just the responsibility of the police service, but also involves other agencies."

The Home Office was approached, but declined to comment.