Terror suspect loses court ruling

 

A terrorist suspect referred to as "BM" has lost his legal challenge against a terrorism prevention measure imposed on him under new Government legislation to stop him travelling to Pakistan.

A judge today upheld the measure, saying he was satisfied that there was reason to believe the 39-year-old British national "has been, is and will continue to be involved in terrorism-related activity" unless subjected to restraint.

The ruling is the first review under the 2011 Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act, which repealed the controversial regime of control orders criticised by civil liberties campaigners.

The new prevention and investigation measures (Tpims) have themselves been criticised because they - unlike control orders - do not allow terror suspects to be sent to live outside London, helping to disrupt extremist networks.

BM, who has in the past been sent under control orders to live in Leicester and Bristol, is now back living in east London, where his ex-wife and their five children also live.

The first control order was imposed on him in May 2009.

Mr Justice Collins said Sheffield-born BM, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, genuinely believed that two of his brothers who had engaged in terrorist activities in Pakistan were now dead.

In August 2007, BM and the two brothers had their assets frozen under UN Terrorism Orders, which were later quashed by the Appeal Court but then reinstated by the Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Collins said that, following reports of one of his brothers dying in November 2011, BM was said to have "glorified him and their actions".

The judge added: "The belief is he wants to, and will if not subject to a Tpim, go to Pakistan and involve himself as they did in terrorism-related activity there.

"He seeks the same path since he holds the same extremist views as they held and wishes to put them into action."

The judge backed Home Secretary Theresa May's decision to impose the Tpim in January this year and also ruled a pre-existing control order, imposed in April last year, was not flawed.

The judge said of BM: "There is ample material to justify the conclusion that he held extremist views and has in the past engaged in financing terrorism-related activity (TRA), travelling to Pakistan for that purpose.

"That he is likely to pursue TRA if not subjected to a Tpim is in all the circumstances, in my view, substantiated, certainly at least to the standard of reasonable belief."

The judge said BM had made a statement which was "somewhat equivocal" as to whether he had said things which "glorify his brothers' deaths".

But there was sufficient information, plus his reaction to those deaths, which supported the specific allegations made against him.

Lawyers for BM also challenged the extent of an "overnight" curfew which prevents him from leaving home between 9pm and 7am.

Rejecting the challenge, the judge said there was "a concern having regard to his past behaviour and his present intentions that BM may try to abscond, and so a curfew for as long as 'overnight' allows is permissible."

PA