(Photo: AP Photo/Metropolitan Police, File)
The U.K.’s top security agencies are today facing mounting criticism over the disappearance of a suspected terrorist.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, a Somali-born British national thought to have links to the militant group al-Shabab, gave security officials the slip when he entered a mosque in Acton, West London and escaped wearing a burka that covered his face.
Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, together with MI5 and the UK Border Agency, launched a nationwide manhunt on Nov. 1 for the 27-year-old.
Mohamed was under surveillance by security officials at the time of his disappearance. His movements were being monitored under the UK’s controversial Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Bill (TPim). The bill was introduced in 2011 and was created to give the government greater leverage in tracking the movements of terror suspects. As part of the government’s broader terror ”Prevent” strategy, TPim reduces the proof needed to determine if a suspect is involved in terrorism-related activities.
Whilst the police had not previously detained Mohamed, under the provisions of the TPim laws, his movements were subjected to restrictions. Mohamed is now deemed to be in breach of the TPim notice and faces arrest.
Wednesday, the British Home Secretary, Teresa May, who spearheaded the TPim measures, came under fire about how Mohamed was allowed to abscond. It’s likely May will face tough questions from MPs over this recent lapse in security.
Opposition politicians are demanding to know how in the space of 10 months two terror suspects have been able to evade monitoring by security agencies.
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