Tags: Qaida | operative | UK | Pakistan

UK Rules Not to Deport al-Qaida Operative

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 09:46 AM

LONDON -- The leader of a terrorist cell planning an attack on Easter shoppers in Manchester cannot be deported to Pakistan in case he is tortured, a tribunal has ruled.

Police did not find any explosives when they swooped on the cell in April last year, but MI5 has maintained that the men, all students from Pakistan, were “members of a UK based network linked to al-Qaida involved in attack planning.”

The Special Immigration and Appeals Commission said it was satisfied Abid Naseer, the alleged ring-leader, was behind an “imminent” al-Qaida-backed plot but said he risked being tortured if he was returned to Pakistan.

The arrests had to be brought forward by 24 hours after Assistant Chief Constable Bob Quick, then Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, was photographed entering Downing Street with plans for the raids under his arm.

The men were never charged but the Home Office attempted to deport Naseer and nine others on national security grounds.

Eight of the 10 men, who had all arrived in Britain on student visas, chose to return to Pakistan. The two remaining men, including Naseer, have now won their attempt to remain in Britain.

The Home Office said it was not planning to appeal but it is thought the men are likely to be placed under control orders on their release from prison at huge expense to the public purse.

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 09:46 AM
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