Thursday, November 07, 2013

How on-the-run burka terror suspect is seeking human rights damages from the Government over claims he was tortured in Somaliland

Burka fugitive Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed began seeking damages from the Government in a human rights legal challenge involving allegations of torture before he went on the run, it was revealed at the High Court today.

Al Qaeda-trained Mohamed, who was the subject of a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure (Tpim), managed to dodge surveillance and disappear by disguising himself as a woman.

The 27-year-old was last seen fleeing a London mosque in the burka on Friday. 

He is understood to have received training and fought overseas for al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group Al Qaeda.

The Met Police's counter terrorism command, MI5 and the UK's Border Force are looking for him.

Today Mr Justice Irwin, sitting at London's High Court, handed down an interim ruling in the action he is bringing for compensation - the first ruling on the use of the Justice and Security Act 2013 in a civil claim for damages.

His claim is against the Foreign Office, Home Office, Ministry of Defence and the Attorney General.

He and another man, referred to as 'CF', allege the British authorities consented to - or acquiesced in - their detention by the Somaliland authorities on January 14 2011.

The men say British 'officers and agents... by their acts and omissions, procured, induced, encouraged or directly caused, or were otherwise complicit in' their detention, assault and mistreatment and torture while they were in Somaliland.

Mohamed launched his damages claim under a cloak of anonymity and was referred to in court papers as 'MA'.

But anonymity was lifted today following his disappearance.

Mohamed is believed to be a follower of the world's most wanted female terrorist, British Samantha Lewthwaite - dubbed the White Widow - and may have fled abroad to join her.

    The Somali-born 27-year-old has links to al-Shabaab - a terror group that Lewthwaite is believed to help lead - and Mohamed may be trying to leave the UK to join them on a fake passport.

    Fanatics belonging to the terror group, which recruits extremists from all over the world, were behind the Kenyan mall massacre which left 67 people dead. They are also accused of plotting attacks on Western interests in east Africa.

    Disguised: The terror suspect wearing his burka
    Samantha Lewthwaite
    Links: Fugitive terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, 27, pictured left, is said to be know the White Widow, Samantha Lewthwaite, pictured right

    A Kenyan intelligence file shows a direct link between Mohamed, Lewthwaite - the widow of 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay - and the terrorist group.

    It is understood Mohamed took part in terrorist training in 2008 and is believed to have helped various individuals travel from the UK to Somalia to allow them to engage in terrorism-related activity.

    Mohamed, who is 5ft 8in and of medium build, is also suspected of helping to plan attacks in Somalia and overseas, including an attack intended for the Juba Hotel in Mogadishu in 2010.

    He is thought to be a member of a UK-based network that had access to money, false passports and documentation, as well as equipment, and is understood to have procured funds and weapons for terrorism uses for the network.

    Caught on CCTV: Mohamed
    Disguised: The terror suspect wearing his burka
    Caught on CCTV: Mohamed entered the An-Noor Masjid Mosque and Community Centre in Acton, west London, at 10am. He was last seen inside the mosque at 3.15pm before leaving disguised in a burka 

    Security officials fear he may already be overseas, and there are question marks about how he was able to disable his tag because it should trigger an alarm.

    It appears that may have just cut it off.

    Theresa May has insisted that 27-year-old Mohamed does not pose 'a direct threat' to members of the public, despite mounting concerns over his disappearance.

    Mr Justice Irwin said both Mohamed and CF were British citizens of Somali descent who travelled to Somaliland - CF in 2009 and Mohamed in 2007.

    Both were detained on January 14 2011 and held until their removal back to the UK on March 14 that year.

    They say they were tortured and mistreated during their detention and claim the Government is liable to pay them damages under the 1998 Human Rights Act for complicity in their alleged ill-treatment.

    Mohamed alleges the fact the British authorities knew he was about to be arrested in Somaliland was demonstrated by the Home Secretary's decision to apply for a control order against him 'as a precaution' prior to his detention.

    Meanwhile concerns have been raised that fugitive terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed may have a second passport after confusion emerged over his British one.

    Theresa May told MPs on Monday that officers had seized the 27-year-old's British passport, but has since revealed that this was wrong.

    She initially told MP Keith Vaz in the Commons: 'I do not have his passport, but the police do.'

    She has now asked for the parliamentary record to be corrected to say: 'I do not have his passport. Mohamed was not in possession of his British passport when he returned to the UK so there was no passport for the police to seize.'

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