Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Baroness Smith probes how terror suspect could have fled in taxi.

BARONESS Smith of Basildon rose on the floor of the House of Lords to question the process that may have allowed a
terror suspect to abscond.

Baroness Smith said: “My Lords, I thank the Minister for repeating the Answer to the Urgent Question. He will understand that it is of enormous concern that Ibrahim Magag, who is subject to a TPIM-a terrorism prevention and investigation measure-has been able to abscond, particularly when the judge who reviewed his previous control order said that, “it is too dangerous to permit him to be in London, even for a short period”.

The Minister referred to how many people had absconded under previous control orders, but the key issue was relocating those subject to an order. My understanding was that none absconded after they had been relocated. However, the Government took the decision to remove the power to relocate suspects when introducing TPIMs. Given that they allowed him to move back to London from the West Country, to where he had been relocated by the previous Government’s control order, can the Minister confirm whether that made it easier for him to abscond? Was he subject to any surveillance at the time?

Finally, is it true that he absconded by hailing a black cab?

Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)

“I can confirm the latter point. The last time he was seen, he was reported as getting into a taxi.

“The noble Baroness misconstrues the nature of the TPIM system, which succeeds the control order system but is designed to provide proportionate supervision for people where evidence does not exist to secure a conviction. The only true way of dealing with terrorists is to find the evidence to convict them and to put them into prison; that is the only secure place that we can put them. That is a process of law for which we require evidence. TPIM is a mechanism whereby we can at least prevent the movement and control the location of individuals in the way that we have done.”

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