Four terrorism suspects with links to ISIS executioner Jihadi John have been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds of British taxpayers’ money in legal aid to sue to government for slapping counter-terrorism orders on them – despite having fled the country and joined terror cells abroad.
Two of the men, who absconded to Somalia, are also suing the British government for its supposed role in the detention and torture they experienced while in that country, the Telegraph has reported.
Two of the four men have been named as Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed as Ibrahim Magag. Along with a third, known only as ‘CF’, they are suing the government for imposing counter-terrorism orders on them which restricted their movements, where they lived and worked, and who they could talk to.
The men have been linked to al-Shabab, a terrorist network operating in Somalia. The men also have links to terrorist operations in Syria, as well as the London terror cell which played host to Jihadi John, real name Mohammed Emwazi, when he was in the UK.
Despite the orders, Magag vanished on Boxing Day 2012 after getting into a taxi near a London’s Euston train station; Mohamed absconded after leaving a mosque dressed in a burqa in Novemer 2013, and CF slipped out of the country on the back of a lorry passing through Dover a year later.
A fourth man, known as ‘K2’ is conversely suing the Home Secretary for barring him entry to the UK. The security services claimed that his presence in Britain was “not conducive to the public good” and that he is involved in terrorism.
All four men were granted legal aid to bring their cases against the government. Although the final bills are not yet in from their lawyers, the total is expected to reach the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Magag, Mohammed and CF’s cases were allowed to continue despite them being abroad because they had filed for legal aid before they left. Magag has lost his appeal against the control order, but the other two cases continue, although legal aid funding has now been stopped.
However, Mohamed and CF have further used legal aid to sue the Government for up to £1million in damages over what they claim is Britain’s role in their detention and alleged torture when they were arrested in Somalia and deported to the UK in 2011.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “The Legal Aid Agency was bound by the decision of the independent adjudicator. As with all such cases, specialist teams manage costs to ensure they are carefully controlled.”
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former chairman of the Parliamentary intelligence and security committee, said: “Given the pressures on legal aid resources I would put these cases on the lowest rung of priority. If the rules currently permit awarding legal aid in such cases then they have to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.”