Member of banned group breached anti-terror order for sex, court hears

  • By Daniel De Simone
  • BBC News

Image source, PA

Image caption,

Al-Muhajiroun is an outlawed Islamist organisation whose members and associates have been linked to multiple attacks

A member of the banned group al-Muhajiroun breached a terror prevention order by meeting a woman for sex, a court has heard.

The man, known as QT for legal reasons, was handed an 18-month community order at the Old Bailey.

He had pleaded guilty to breaching his Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) by seeing the woman.

TPIMs let the authorities monitor and control people considered terrorists but not facing criminal charges.

Emma Gargitter, prosecuting, said QT had an unauthorised meeting with a woman at his home in November last year for "sexual gratification".

She said the breach was similar to seven offences he committed in early 2019 when QT had sex with a "vulnerable woman" - for which he received an 18-month prison sentence.

On his release from jail in March 2020, the TPIM order was re-activated, but QT refused to sign a relevant document and wrote instead: "I was born free and refuse to sign this slave contract."

The TPIM finally expired in March this year, the court was told.

Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) is, an outlawed Islamist organisation whose members and associates have been linked to multiple attacks and plots, including at Fishmongers' Hall in 2019, Westminster Bridge in 2017, and the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013.

What are TPIMs?

Subjects face measures such as wearing an electronic tag, curfews, relocation, bans on internet use, and limits on who they can meet and where they can go.

A TPIM can currently be imposed on a person for a maximum of two years.

Ministers are seeking to lower the standard of proof needed to impose a TPIM.

The latest official figures showed three people were the subjects of TPIMs.

QT himself knew the ALM member Khurum Butt, who led a three-man cell responsible for the London Bridge attack in June 2017.

The High Court previously ruled that QT is a "long-standing member of ALM and that, as a result of his membership and activities, he has a wide range of associates across the group, including senior leadership figures".

The ruling also found that QT attempted to travel to so-called Islamic State group territory and has given "encouragement to the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism".

Passing sentence on Wednesday, Judge Sarah Munro QC said his offence was a "blatant breach by someone who knew the rules".

She gave him an 18-month community order and said he must complete 90 hours of unpaid work.

In mitigation, Stella Harris said QT had made recent "efforts and strides" by studying for work-related qualifications.

QT is one of eight leading ALM members to have been made the subject of TPIM measures since 2016. Of these, QT is one of five convicted of breaches.