Terror suspect on the run is serial breaker of anti-terror orders

 

The Government faced further embarrassment after it emerged that a suspected British extremist on the run after eluding a multi-million pound MI5 and police surveillance operation is a serial breaker of anti-terror orders that had seen him previously jailed for 15 months.

The Home Secretary faced demands to explain the failure of its “complacent” terrorist monitoring programme as Somali-born Ibrahim Magag remained missing amid speculation that he had fled abroad to join British jihadists in East Africa.

Mr Magag has a history of tampering with his monitoring equipment, lying about why he was late reporting home for a night-time curfew and used a computer in breach of the terms of an order designed to protect national security, according to 2010 High Court papers.

The 28-year-old – who has previously been known only as BX – was jailed for 15 months because of the breaches, according to a report last year by the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation David Anderson QC.

Mr Magag and nine other men are currently subject to a TPim (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) introduced in December 2011 as a last resort for suspects thought to pose a risk to national security but cannot be deported or put on trial.

The Home Office has declined to say if Mr Magag had been subject to tighter surveillance given his previous breaches but Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper demanded answers from both the Government and the police about how Mr Magag had been able to abscond.

Under the old regime, Mr Magag had been ordered to relocate to the West of England to take him away from a group of Britons believed to be fixers and financial backers for al-Qa’ida-linked terrorists in Somalia. But he was allowed to return to London under a new monitoring programme introduced by the Government in December 2011 that ended the controversial relocation rule.

He was last seen on Boxing Day evening in Camden, north London, and his name was made public for the first time on Monday after the Home Secretary applied to the High Court to lift the order on his anonymity.

Mr Magag was part of a group which had access to documents and passports and a known flight risk, but the alarm was raised after he skipped his night-time residency condition on Boxing Day. Police said he did not pose a direct threat to the British public “at this time”.

The Government had handed millions of pounds to MI5 for extra surveillance and investigations after critics claimed that it had “watered down” its terrorist monitoring programme. The extra funding led MI5 director general Jonathan Evans to conclude that “there should be no substantial increase in overall risk”.

Ms Cooper said: “Theresa May needs to explain rapidly why surveillance failed on Ibrahim Magag since Christmas and whether her decision to return him to London and to weaken legislation has made it easier for him to abscond and harder for the police to find him now.”

Labour MP Pat McFadden said the government’s changes in 2011 which also allowed suspects greater use of the Internet and mobile phones and limited the time they could be subject to the orders was a “civil liberties pose”.

“I believe this legislation has changed the balance of risk in what is at least a complacent way and, at worst, a highly dangerous way,” he said.

David Anderson QC said that the absconding was “very unwelcome news” and said that the government had been concerned in 2010 about the possibility Mr Magag would go back to East Africa.

“Until the end of last year he was relocated to the West of England because the Home Secretary supported by the courts believed that this was desirable to separate him from his network in London,” Mr Anderson said.

“We don’t know at this stage whether his return to London under TPIM made it easier for him to abscond.”

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Actor Ezra Miller who stars in the film 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' poses for a portrait session during the 39th Ghent Film Festival on October 18, 2012 in Ghent, Belgium.
arts + ents
Voices
Ukip leader Nigel Farage arrives at the Rochester by-election count
voicesIs it any wonder that Thornberry, Miliband, and Cameron have no idea about ordinary everyday life?
Sport
sportComment: Win or lose Hamilton represents the best of Britain
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsene Wenger reacts during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Swansea
footballMan United and Arsenal meet on Saturday with both clubs this time languishing outside the top four
News
i100BBC political editor Nick Robinson had a lot of explaining to do
News
A girl plays on a Sony 'PS Vita' portable games console
news
Life and Style
Nappies could have advice on them to encourage mothers and fathers to talk to their babies more often
newsTalking to babies can improve their language and vocabulary skills
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines