Burka escape terror suspect begins appeal

Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed Image copyright Other
Image caption Mr Mohamed's whereabouts is still unknown

A terror suspect who absconded after changing into a burka at a London mosque has launched an appeal against the restrictions that were put on him.

Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, whose current whereabouts is unknown, has been granted legal aid in an effort to quash the orders restricting his movements.

The 27-year old - who went missing in November - has been linked to the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said the case was "absurd".

"I have asked for an urgent review of the rules to prevent this kind of thing happening again," he said.

"It is completely unacceptable that someone who has flouted our laws and ignored a court order and fled in disguise should then be at the centre of a legal case funded by the taxpayer."

Mr Mohamed is jointly appealing with a second terror suspect, referred to as CF.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones ruled in 2012 that there were reasonable grounds for the home secretary to believe that the men had been involved in terrorism-related activity, including plans to target Western interests in Somaliland in east Africa.

'Torture' appeal

The lawyers for the two men - who are both British citizens of Somali origin - are fighting the legality of control orders made for public protection under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 and subsequent notices under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Act (Tpim Act).

They say both the control orders and TPims - which are used to restrict movement, who a person can meet and the use of computers and mobile phones - are procedurally flawed on a number of grounds.

The lawyers acting for the men are accusing the home secretary of failing to disclose sufficient information to give them a fair chance to fight the imposition of the orders.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Police released images of Mr Mohamed before and after he vanished in November

If they win their appeals, it could lead to them claiming damages for breaches to human rights.

Mr Mohamed's TPim is due to expire on 23 May.

He is due to stand trial on 28 April for allegedly breaching the terrorism prevention orders, unless he successfully blocks them by winning the appeal against their legality.

CF's TPim, meanwhile, expired on 2 January.

Mr Mohamed disappeared on 1 November after entering an Acton mosque in a jacket and trousers but leaving in disguise.

CCTV footage captured Mr Mohamed him entering and leaving the building.

It was later revealed that at the time of his disappearance Mr Mohamed was facing charges over 20 alleged breaches of his TPims.

It has also emerged that Mr Mohamed is suing the government over allegations that UK authorities were complicit in his torture in Somalia, East Africa, in 2011.

Both he and CF travelled to Somalia in 2007 and were detained in January 2011 until their removal back to the UK in March of that year.

They both allege that they were tortured during their detention and that UK authorities were complicit in their ill-treatment.

Earlier this month, a group of MPs and peers warned in a report that the next government in 2015 must "urgently address" the role of TPims as they may be "withering on the vine as a counter-terrorism tool of practical utility".

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