Relatives of a migrant terrorist’s victims are demanding “meaningful change” after it emerged that he had racked up seven convictions for 19 offences without being deported.
Islamic extremist Khairi Saadallah had been a member of the Islamic Ansar al-Sharia terrorist organisation in Libya, with his bogus asylum claim being rejected by Britain’s Home Office all the way back in 2012.
The authorities failed to remove him, however, despite his rapid collection of absconding incidents, criminal convictions, and prison sentences, culminating in his “execution” of three men in a public park in a radical Islamic terror attack, just days after he had been released early from a sentence for previous terror offences.
“We are hopeful for meaningful change and meaningful changes to be implemented so that no other families, no other family or families, no other people, person or persons, ever have to experience what the Ritchie, the Bennett, the Furlong and the Wails families have experienced,” said Robert Ritchie, ahead of what would have been the birthday of his brother, victim Joseph Ritchie-Bennett.
“This terrorist just decided he had the right to cut short all of Joe’s hopes and dreams, all of James’s hopes and dreams, all of David’s hopes and dreams, and the hopes and dreams that the Ritchie family, the Bennett family, the Furlong family and the Wails family had for Joe, James and David,” said Mr Ritchie, whose brother had been planning to scale Mount Kilimanjaro for his upcoming 40th, taking the Chinese coronavirus pandemic in his stride.
“What he said was ‘Oh it’s okay, this Covid-19 pandemic is not going to last forever. The restrictions, you know, this too shall pass, basically. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me’,” Mr Ritchie recalled.
Joseph Ritchie-Bennett’s family, like the family of fellow victim James Furlong and most members of the public, are bewildered that Saadallah was still in the country at all, and not even being held in detention until his deportation could be arranged.
“On the facts of this case, there are now serious questions that need answering, most notably, how the killer was ever in a position to commit these horrific acts,” said Mr Furlong’s father, Gary Furlong.
“Seeking asylum here in 2012 he has obtained a litany of criminal convictions, including assaults on the public, police, and emergency services, along with carrying a bladed weapon,” he pointed out.
“Whilst in prison it was decided by the Secretary of State on June 4th 2020, just two weeks prior to the attack, that his deportation was in the public interest but for legal reasons it could not happen.
“I’ve got to be really realistic and you look at this person and you’ve got to say how was he ever allowed to stay in this country? How was he allowed into this country in the first place?” he demanded.
“The Secretary of State needs to tell us why this guy wasn’t put into some sort of detention centre before they could deport him. He wasn’t safe to put back on the streets.”
Despite tough talk on deportation from Home Secretary Priti Patel, the (already low) number of removals actually plummetted by 79 per cent in 2020, while mass legal immigration and illegal immigration have both risen dramatically during her and Boris Johnson’s tenure.