Earlier this week, London saw a horrific knife attack on the London Bridge by a confirmed jihadist terrorist. As a result, two individuals were killed and several more were critically injured-the attacker shot and killed by police.
This could have been completely avoidable, had the terrorist not been released from prison.
No, it wasn’t a mix up, while Usman Khan slated to never be released unless he was somehow deemed to no longer be a terroristic threat- he was released on a license in December of 2018. Khan claimed he was reformed.
Now reports are coming out that Khan is one of six who have been released under a similar program.
And all of those individuals are connected to Khan when the group of nine terrorists were arrested in the midst of a plot to attack the London Stock Exchange and kill Boris Johnson in 2010.
According to Daily Mail.com:
“Three of the nine – Khan, Mohammad Shahjahan and Nazam Hussein – were initially handed indefinite prison terms, but the trio won an appeal in 2013 which changed them to fixed sentences.
Allowing their appeal, former press inquiry chair Lord Justice Leveson found they had been ‘wrongly characterized’ as more dangerous than the others.”
Shah Mohammed Rahman, Omar Sharif Latif, Gurukanth Desai and Abdul Malik Miah have all been released from prison under similar terms as Khan.
Currently the documentation for when and where these individuals were released from prison has been a bit lacking.
According to sources however, when all nine men were sentenced, the time they had served while awaiting trial was considered for their sentence terms.
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As reported by The Daily Mail:
“At the trial in 2012, Woolwich Crown Court heard how the nine jihadists had plotted an al-Qaeda-style attack to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange.
In addition, a hand-written target list found at one of the plotters’ homes also included the names and addresses of the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, Boris Johnson who was then Mayor of London, two rabbis, and the US Embassy in London.”
Sources report that the London based sleeper cell of terrorists was brought down when than 19-year-old Khan was recorded in his home creating plans to mask an al-Qaeda type training camp as a religious school.
The Daily Mail also reported that during the undercover police operation recordings in the home included:
“…some London and Cardiff-based members of the group discussed launching a ‘Mumbai-style’ atrocity, while the Stoke extremists talked about setting off pipe bombs in the toilets of two pubs in their home town.”
The Guardian reported that:
“A 2013 report indicated, “Khan was one of three men from Stoke who had travelled to Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas (Fata) and planned to fund, construct and take part in a terrorist training camp in Kashmir, with a view to carrying out terrorist acts in the future.
They were part of a group that had copies of the al-Qaida English-language extremist magazine Inspire and had considered putting letter bombs in the post.”
In February 2012 when the sentences came down for the group, the judge in the case Mr Justice Wilkie, stated about the group and their plans that:
“…the plot was a ‘serious, long-term venture in terrorism’ that could also have resulted in atrocities in Britain.”
Wilkie was also noted as saying Khan was one of the most extreme of the group that had been arrested.
So why were any of these individuals allowed to walk free outside of prison walls?
According to the Guardian:
“Khan appealed against the decision in 2013 before Lord Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Sweeney. It was decided that his sentence would go from 18 to 16 years, along with five-year extended license periods.”
This sentence would automatically allow Khan release after serving just 8 years of his term. This was also that case for Khan’s co-conspirators.
The Daily Mail explains that:
“Khan was automatically set free thanks to the Criminal Justice Act – introduced by Labour in 2005 – which releases prisoners halfway through their term, with the rest of their sentence under license.”
With the release of Khan, and the recent horrific attack he unleashed on the London Bridge, those in the British judicial system are trying to point fingers in every direction but their own.
Lord Justice Leveson has stated that it was the Parole Board that ultimately allowed for the release of Khan. However, the Parole Board released the statement which said they:
“…played no part at all in Khan’s release as he was freed automatically, suggesting a failure at some point in the Justice System, and ultimately from the Government, to review Khan’s case.”
Others have also pointed to Former Tory minister David Gauke who was the justice secretary when Khan was released in 2018.
The Criminal Justice Act included the “Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPPs) were introduced in 2005 and given to violent or sexual offenders. The policy was introduced by Labour’s David Blunkett and was targeted at criminals who did not warrant a life sentence but posed a serious risk to the public,” as explained by the Daily Mail.
These sentences were removed in 2012 under a new conservative government. Although they removed these sentences, it is reported that the government promised they would protect citizens from the individuals that were given these IPPs terms.
The attack on the London Bridge shows just how effective those promises were.
Following the attack last week Labour’s Yvette Cooper when on the attack of the government writing on Twitter:
‘Usman Khan was sentenced for serious terror offence in Feb 2012. Thought to be so dangerous by judge he was given IPP sentence to prevent release if still serious threat. ‘Instead he was released 6 yrs later without Parole Board assessment. How could this be allowed to happen?’”
As a response to Cooper’s tweet current Home Secretary Priti Patel responded with tweets of her own stating:
“Because legislation brought in by your government in 2008 meant that dangerous terrorists had to automatically be released after half of their jail term. Conservatives changed the law in 2012 to end your automatic release policy but Khan was convicted before this.’”
Due to the changes in the law, many questions remain. Besides those that Khan was originally arrested and convicted with that have also been released, how many more terrorists have been released under this law change?
Who is tracking these individuals? Where are they now? And given the results of the London Bridge attack, with others follow close behind?
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