Terror suspect 'C' freed after three years without trial

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The Independent Online

The terror suspect known as "C" has been freed after being interned under the Government's anti-terror legislation for more than three years, Home Office sources said today.

It was understood that Home Secretary Charles Clarke would explain his decision in a statement to MPs later today.

Egyptian national C was detained in December 2001.

In October 2003 the Special Immigration Appeals Commission - the independent panel which hears appeals from foreign terror suspects detained under the emergency laws - concluded the Government had "reasonable grounds" to suspect C had a "senior leadership role in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in the United Kingdom".

It was understood he was freed earlier this week.

It comes just 24 hours after another detainee - Jordanian-born Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh - was granted bail by Siac because indefinite detention had worsened his psychiatric problems.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed the Government would not try to reverse the decision to grant Abu Rideh's release.

Both C and Abu Rideh were among the first eight people to be detained - without charge or trial - under the controversial Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

Siac chairman Mr Justice Ouseley said in July last year that there were reasonable grounds for the belief that C was engaged in support activities for terrorists.

The judgment added: "He would still have the will, commitment and ability to resume his activities in the UK were he to be released."