Blunkett attacks terror suspect bail decision

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The Independent Online

The Home Secretary David Blunkett today branded as "extraordinary" the decision to release an Algerian al Qa'ida terror suspect from prison on mental health grounds.

Mr Blunkett said he would be seeking a change in the law to prevent a recurrence of the legal challenge which left the 35-year-old effectively under house arrest.

Speaking on a visit to Birmingham, he told reporters: "Allowing someone like this out on bail is an extraordinary decision, which puts massive pressure on our anti-terror and security services, and sends a very different signal to the one we have been sending.

"I have not called it bonkers, but no doubt other people will."

The Algerian prisoner, thought to have "actively assisted" terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden's network, was freed from Belmarsh high-security prison in south east London yesterday because he was mentally ill.

Known only as "G", he was freed after the Special Immigration Appeal Commission (SIAC) accepted that his continuing detention under Mr Blunkett's controversial anti-terror laws was prolonging his illness.