U.K.; 20 convicted Islamic terrorists freed from jail early

Released: Esayas Girma (left) was jailed for helping a 21/7 suicide bomber and Abu Baker Mansha (right) was caught carrying a converted pistol and the name and address of an Army corporal

Released: Esayas Girma (left) was jailed for helping a 21/7 suicide bomber and Abu Baker Mansha (right) was caught carrying a converted pistol and the name and address of an Army corporal

MailOnline… Dozens of convicted Islamic terrorists are back on the streets after being freed early from jail.  

Taxpayers now face a multi-million pound bill to keep tabs on the dangerous fanatics as 20 are set free and another 75 terrorists are due to be released over the next few years.

Among them are Muslim extremists jailed for offences including planning to kill soldiers, attending terror training camps and helping suicide bombers.

Most of those convicted of terrorism offences received short fixed jail terms and were released after serving two thirds of their sentence.

But because of continuing concerns about the threat they pose to national security, police and intelligence services will have to mount a huge surveillance operation to ensure that they do not plot further atrocities.

At least four of the 20 released recently are said to pose a high risk to the public, requiring 24-hour supervision by police and intelligence agents.

A fifth high risk offender, due to be released later this year will be placed in a hostel in the South East.

But police and probation staff fear they will be stretched to the limit by the release of almost 100 terrorists in the coming years.

The news comes after three British-born Muslims were convicted on Monday of trying to blow up seven transatlantic airlines using liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks in a plot to rival 9/11.

Although they face 40 years in jail, other bomb plotters are already free.

At least three people convicted of helping the 21/7 suicide bomb plotters are back out on the streets.

The organisers of the Danish cartoon protests in London, when fanatics hailed the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks are also free after their sentences were cut by a third on appeal.

Five Birmingham-based suspects among a gang led by Parvis Khan, convicted of masterminding a plot to behead a British Muslim soldier, have also been freed.

Around 75 Islamic extremists are due to be released in the next three to four years.

Among them is al-Qaeda trained terrorist Sohail Qureshi.

The East London dental assistant was arrested in October 2006 at Heathrow Airport on the way to Afghanistan where he planned to attack British troops.

Since 1999, at least 150 men have been convicted of terrorist offences, with 120 linked to al-Qaeda.  

Of those, 115 were given determinate sentences which means they will be released after serving two thirds of their terms, despite being refused for parole in many cases.

Napo, the probation officers’ union estimates that 75 terrorists who received sentences less than 11 years will be freed in the next three to four years.

On release, they will be placed in hostels around the UK and supervised by staff more used to dealing with drug dealers and thieves.

Another 20 terrorists serving longer sentence of 11 to 20 years may be supervised in hostels in the longer term.

But security sources say the cost of monitoring them in the community may be more than keeping them in jail.

It costs the taxpayer around £40,000 a year for a prison inmate and £25,000 for a hostel place.

But those who pose the greatest risk need constant police surveillance upon release, which is extremely expensive as it involves two 12 hours shifts of 16 officers on permanent duty.  

Probation staff also face challenges trying to monitor radicals.

They can be subject to curfews but are free during the day.

Staff at hostels regularly search their rooms, but they have been trained mainly to detect drugs and needles.

There are also restrictions on the number of times they can search due to human rights considerations.

Among those recently freed, one man released on supervision in London has already been recalled because of an assault on a police officer.  

Another has been questioned over inappropriate internet access.

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of Napo, said: ‘I am unconvinced that the resources are there to supervise these people.

‘There is widespread concern that there was no consultation with staff about the housing of terrorists, that no extra staffing resources appear to be being made available at all, and that the implications have not been fully thought through.  

‘At least 100 will be supervised in the community over the next five to six years.  

‘It is ironic that at a time when the demand on the Probation Service has never been greater that budgets are being cut by up to 15 per cent.  

‘This September up to two-thirds of the 550 trainee probation officers who will qualify are being told that there are no jobs for them and that they will go straight to the dole.  

‘The cuts and the redundancies are totally inconsistent with claims by ministers that the Government puts public protection first and foremost in its priorities.’

Shadow Justice Secretary, Dominic Grieve said: ‘The Government needs to give assurances that everything necessary is being done to protect the public.

‘With cuts to frontline probation services, Ministers must explain how they intend to ensure proper monitoring of potentially dangerous individuals that have been released.’

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