UK: Over 160 Terrorists Released Early in the Past Seven Years

LONDON - FEBRUARY 07: A supporter of the controversial Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is filmed by a British police officer as he protests outside of the Old Bailey criminal court on February 7, 2006 in London, England. Hamza has been found guilty of inciting murder and race hate and …
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An ex-minister has revealed that in the past seven years the United Kingdom has freed over 160 terrorists from prison early, as MPs have passed the first stage of the emergency legislation that will prevent terrorists from automatically being released halfway through their prison terms.

Sir John Hayes told the House of Commons yesterday that 163 convicted terrorists have been set free over the last seven years. The former Minister for Security informed MPs of the figure as they were debating the emergency legislation.

“Leaving aside the short sentences, the more serious terrorist prisoners have been released in significant numbers,” Sir John said in comments reported by The Sun.

“Just imagine the effect on our security services and police of having to deal with the possible consequences of those releases,” he warned.

The Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill, which passed the Commons and now awaits approval from the House of Lords, was written in the wake of the Streatham terror attack committed by Sudesh Amman, who stabbed two people just days after being released early from prison halfway through his sentence.

MPs are trying to enact the new legislation before February 27th, in order to prevent the release of Mohammed Zahir Khan, who plead guilty to spreading terrorist propaganda in May of 2018 and is set to be released halfway through his four-year term.

Under the proposed legislation, convicted terrorists will serve at least two-thirds of their sentence and will not be freed early if they do not gain approval from the Parole Board.

The bill would apply retrospectively and block the early release of around 50 terrorists that are currently set to be released automatically — potentially setting up a legal challenge under the Human Rights Act, as enforced by the British courts, or the European Convention on Human Rights, as enforced by the European Court of Human Rights, to which the United Kingdom remains subject despite Brexit.

Many of the convicted terrorists who have already been released from prison have gone back to live in the areas they once terrorised.

One such offender, Mohammed Shahjahan, who was convicted alongside the London Bridge killer in 2013, has been released back into Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent — a town that he threatened to bomb in the past.

Kazi Islam, who was imprisoned for planning an attack on British soldiers, was also set free after serving just four years of his eight-year sentence. Islam, a disciple of the radical Islamist hate-preacher Anjem Choudary, has gone on to move next door to his convicted terrorist uncle, Kazi Rahman, in East London.

Anti-terrorism think tank the Henry Jackson Society has commented: “Terrorist prisoners are amongst the most dangerous in the prison system – that so many have been released, and walk among us, is alarming.”

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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