More than 40 convicted foreign Islamist terrorists have used the Human Rights Act (HRA) – some using legal aid – to avoid deportation and remain in the UK.
The Telegraph revealed details of an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office, ordered by then-Home Secretary Theresa May, into a scheme called Deportation with Assurances (DWA).
International law specialist Professor Clive Walker, who co-authored the analysis, said: “My research suggests there are more than 40 foreign terrorists convicted in the UK who have avoided deportation using the human rights act. The figure is much larger than was previously thought.”
Using the HRA, lawyers have successfully prevented the likes of jihadists with links to the failed 21/7 bomb plot in 2005 including Eritrean Siraj Yassin Abdullah Ali (above right) who aided the terror cell.
Ali was prevented from being deported because he faced “inhumane treatment or punishment” if he returned. He was released from prison in 2011 after serving just half of his nine-year sentence.
Algerian national and al-Qaeda fundraiser Baghdad Meziane (above left) also avoided deportation after being jailed in 2003 for 11 years. He is now out of prison and believed to be living in Leicester.
Fowzi Nejad, the sole surviving terrorist of the Iranian embassy siege in 1980, had also evaded deportation to Iran to protect his human rights. He served 28 years before being released on parole.
The newspaper reports that many of these cases are funded through legal aid.
Breitbart London reported in January that Islamist preacher Hani al-Sibai has been given £123,000 over 20 years in legal aid to fight deportation to Egypt despite being identified as a “key influencer” of the extremist Ansar al-Sharia movement.
The jihadist, who inspired the Tunisia terror attack, is currently living on benefits in a £1 million house in London, paid for by British taxpayers.
The DWA has only been successful in the deportation of just 12 Islamists – notably Abu Qatada, once dubbed Osama bin Laden’s deputy in Europe, costing the government £1.7 million in legal fees.
The scheme, introduced in 2005, allows the UK to deport foreign terror suspects with guarantees they will not be mistreated in their home country. Agreements have been signed with Algeria, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Morocco.
The unpublished report was delivered to the Home Office in February.
However in 2014, the official in charge of DWA – former ambassador to Libya and Morroco Anthony Layden – resigned. He has declined to say precisely why the scheme was not working but told The Telegraph he had no wish to “help the terrorists” and the problem was with the Home Office.