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Ten 'potentially dangerous' terror suspects including pair linked to liquid bomb plot 'will be free by the end of the year'
Terrorism suspects used to held under renewable control ordersNow orders known as Tpims have a two-year maximumThe new orders can be extended only if
there is fresh evidence
Ten potentially dangerous individuals will be free from next year
Labelled control orders ‘Light’ they were in some critical aspects weaker than the orders they replaced. As well as being time limited, they could not be used to remove individuals from their homes and send them to different parts of the country.
In a report published today, a Home Office watchdog, David Anderson QC said: ‘Some subjects who have been judged by the Home Secretary and by the courts to be potentially dangerous will then, absent prosecution or new evidence of terrorism-related activity, be free and unconstrained.’
Mr Anderson, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, suggested the men were likely to remain under close surveillance by MI5. The agency was handed additional funds to help it counter the terror threat after the new regime was brought in.
Battle over terrorism laws: Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, right, challenged the strength of court orders leaving Home Secretary Theresa May, left, in a difficult position when they expire next year
His report said: ‘Depending on the risk they are assessed to pose, they could of course remain thereafter the subject of covert surveillance, at least if they chose to remain in the United Kingdom.’
But he pointed out that without the controls, ‘this is expensive and there are many competing priorities for the limited surveillance resource’.
The new orders can be extended only if the police or Security Services find new evidence suggesting the men are involved in terrorist activity.
Mr Anderson acknowledged the men are aware that if they keep their noses clean they will be ‘free of all constraints after two years’.
Mr Anderson said the two-year limit was the 'boldest' change from control orders made by the Government and it was 'tempting, in the most serious cases, to wish for longer'.
In December, Ibrahim Magag, who is thought to have attended terrorist training camps in Somalia, ripped off his electronic tag and fled.
Of those remaining on the orders, one was a former train driver considered to be a UK extremist seeking to obtain terrorist training in Pakistan.
Another attended a terrorist training camp in Cumbria in 2004 in the company of four of the five attempted suicide bombers involved in failed attacks on London in July 2005.
Mr Anderson said allegations against some of the men were at the ‘highest end of seriousness, even by the standards of international terrorism’.
A Home Office spokesman said: 'Tpims provide effective powers for dealing with terrorists whom we cannot yet prosecute or deport. As part of the transition from control orders to Tpims substantial extra resources were provided to the police and security services to increase the opportunities to prosecute for terrorist-related activity.’