NHS surgeon struck off for sectarian violence flees Britain to front Taliban recruitment video

Dr Mirza Tariq Ali worked as a locum at hospitals across London

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An NHS doctor who worked for years across hospitals around London has become the figurehead of a new recruitment drive for the Taliban in Pakistan, it has been reported.

Dr Mirza Tariq Ali, 39, fled Britain in April this year after he was arrested over sectarian violence during an extremist rally organised by the infamous preacher Anjem Choudary.

The surgeon, who emigrated to the UK after serving as a doctor in the Pakistan Army, was able to flee despite having his passport seized. He was later convicted in Britain’s first successful prosecution for sectarian violence, sentenced in his absence to 15 months imprisonment and last month struck off the medical register.

The doctor’s whereabouts were nonetheless unknown, until last month a splinter group from the Pakistan Taliban posted a video online introducing “our new Mujahid (Jihadi) brother” Dr Tariq Ali.

Read more: Anjem Choudary supporter skips bail 'to go live under Isis'

Speaking in both Urdu and English, Dr Ali – also known as Abu Obaidah al-Islamabadi – describes how he fled the Pakistan Army after refusing orders “about nine years ago”.

“I emigrated to London,” he says. “There I did general surgical training in London and Cambridge and at the same time I called the non-Muslims to Islam.”

Former NHS surgeon Dr Mirza Tariq Ali (left) appearing in a recruitment video for the Taliban in Pakistan

Dr Ali describes how he left Britain “with the intention of going to Iraq to join Isis”, but says that he was arrested on the way and imprisoned in Croatia. He says he was deported to Pakistan on his release, at which point he joined the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JA) branch of the proscribed Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group.

In the rest of the video, Dr Ali urges those fighting for the army in Pakistan to stop being “an ally of Kuffar (non-believers) and resisting against the implementation of Shariah” and join the TTP-JA instead.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the former NHS surgeon has also begun publishing an English-language magazine called Ihya-e-Khilafat that is aimed at recruiting young people from the West.

Abu Rumaysah, another Anjem Choudary associate, appears on Channel 4 before he skipped bail to travel to Syria

Dr Ali’s re-emergence in Pakistan comes shortly after it emerged that Abu Rumaysah, another reported associate of Anjem Choudary, had also skipped bail in order to travel to Syria.

Alex Carlile QC, a former independent reviewer of Government anti-terror laws, told the Telegraph the issue of multiple terror suspects escaping the police was “a matter of great concern”.

“It may be difficult for the police to keep tabs on everyone but clearly more needs to be done,” he said.