- Three terror suspects linked to ISIS murderer Jihadi John claimed legal aid
- Men believed to have claimed six-figure sum but are no longer in Britain
- Fled while under counter-terror control orders but still billed government
- One escaped disguised in a burka while another hid in a lorry at Dover
Terrorism suspects linked to ISIS executioner Jihadi John have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds in legal aid even though they have fled the UK.
The three men are connected to Londoner Mohammed Emwazi - believed to have beheaded hostages including Britons Alan Henning and David Haines.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, Ibrahim Magag and a suspect who can only be referred to as CF all billed the government for legal fees after escaping Britain while under counter-terrorism control orders.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed (left), Ibrahim Magag (right) and a suspect who can only be referred to as CF all billed the government for legal fees after fleeing Britain while under counter terrorism control orders
The security services believe the men - along with Emwazi - were part of a terror cell that funded and trained extremists in Somalia and Syria and are linked to the militant network and ISIS ally al-Shabaab.
Despite being under close observation by intelligence officers, Magag, who was a Tube driver, has not been since getting into a taxi near Euston station on Boxing Day 2012.
Mohamed fled Britain in November 2013, walking into a mosque in west London before escaping disguised as a Muslim woman wearing a burka.
CF stowed himself away in the back of a lorry in Dover in November last year.
Because each of the men challenged their surveillance orders in the courts before fleeing the country, they could still claim for legal aid, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
The newspaper also reported that a fourth man, who can only be named as K2, was also granted legal aid to sue Home Secretary Theresa May after he was barred from entering the UK after going to Somalia.
The combined cost of the four cases is thought to spiral into the hundreds of thousands of pounds, however the full amount is not yet known as some of the proceedings are ongoing.
Mohamed was due to stand trial for allegedly breaching his counter-terror order - put in place because of his links to extremism in Africa - and could have been jailed for 20 years if found guilty.
CF's control order was also because evidence held by counter-terror police linked him to a network of British Muslims in Somalia and Syria.
The three men are connected to ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John
Both men used their legal aid to fund British lawyers who won a court ruling quashing their control orders, despite judges saying they were 'reluctant' to hear the cases because the pair were no longer in the UK.
Their lawyers successfully argued that the men had not been told what charges they were originally facing when handed the counter-terror restrictions, so were not in a position to defend themselves.
Lord Justice Maurice Kay said the Court of Appeal judges considered not allowing Mohamed's case.
They said: 'We did wonder whether his appeal should be stayed in these circumstances.
However, we were told that, although the legal aid authorities had initially withdrawn his funding on being informed of the position by his legal representatives, an adjudication subsequently reinstated it.
'In these circumstances, and in view of the fact that CF’s appeal would be proceeding in any event, the [Home Secretary] decided not to invite us to stay or dismiss Mohamed’s appeal.
With some reluctance, we allowed it to proceed.'
The two men are also suing the government for £1million, claiming the authorities played a role in their alleged torture when they were arrested in Somalia and deported to the UK in 2011.
Magag lost his taxpayer-funded legal battle over his control order but his lawyer is still likely to claim tens of thousands of pounds.
Speaking about the Mohammed and CF cases, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: 'Legal aid was initially granted but has been stopped in this case. The case is ongoing and final bills have not yet been received.'
The spokesman added that both Magag and K2 received legal aid and that final bills are not yet been received. Magag's case has finished but K2's is still ongoing.