- Siddhartha Dhar was arrested in September with eight other men
- Dhar and the others were questioned on suspicion of encouraging terrorism
- He was released on police bail to reappear in December but fled the country
- Westminster Magistrates' Court heard he caught a coach to Paris
- Dhar is believed to be in Syria along with his young family
One of hate preacher Anjem Choudary’s top henchmen was able to skip bail and flee to Syria because of police blunders.
Siddhartha Dhar, 31, disappeared less than 24 hours after being freed on police bail by Scotland Yard detectives investigating Choudary’s inner circle.
They asked him to surrender his passport under strict conditions designed to prevent him promoting al-Muhajiroun, the banned extremist group founded by the fanatic preacher.
Siddhartha Dhar, circled, disappeared only 24 hours after being released on police bail, the follower of Anjem Choudary, centre, took a coach to Paris with his family before travelling on to Syria
But instead, the Islamic convert, known as Abu Rumaysah, took a coach from London to Paris and headed to the Islamic State war zone with his young family.
Last night outraged critics said it beggared belief that a high-profile terrorist suspect could slip through the grasp of police.
Dhar, a darling of TV interviewers repeatedly given a platform on the BBC to promote his radical views, had publicly stated that he wanted to live under the Islamic State.
He was a key member of al-Muhajiroun and offshoot groups such as the Shariah Project, masterminding ‘roadshows’ in London that aimed to recruit troubled youngsters to Islam.
It was at one of these that he is believed to have met, and possibly mentored, Michael Adebolajo, one of the murderers of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
Dhar and nine other men, including Choudary, were held in raids in London and the Midlands in September on suspicion of supporting al-Muhajiroun.
Dhar was among nine men including Choudary, right, held and questioned by police in September
They were also questioned on suspicion of encouraging terrorism before being released on bail and ordered to return to police stations in December.
Police wanted to impose strict bail conditions to prevent them associating with each other, promoting extremism or going overseas.
But it can now be revealed that Dhar fled to Syria with his wife and four young children the day after he was released. The details emerged at a bail hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in which Choudary and other suspects demanded the return of their identity documents.
Asked why Dhar was not in court, prosecutor Luke Ponte said he boarded a coach for Paris on September 27.
He said: ‘He failed to comply with the conditions to surrender his travel documents to police. It’s my understanding that he is no longer in the jurisdiction and that he is currently in Syria.’
The court refused to hand back the identity documents.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis said it ‘beggars belief’ that Dhar could escape so easily. ‘To allow him to surrender his own passport, rather than take it off him, seems at best careless and at worse a terrible error of judgment,’ he added.