A terror boss who is the highest-ranking member of al-Qaeda to be jailed in Britain could be cleared for release in the spring.
Rangzieb Ahmed, who is thought to have links with fanatics behind the 7/7 London Tube and bus atrocities, will appear before parole chiefs just a decade after he got life for plotting attacks in the UK.
Ahmed, 43, was caught with notebooks containing details of terror contacts in invisible ink.
To night Chris Phillips, the former Head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told us: “This is disgraceful. It seems as if the criminal justice system is working against the police.
“They are letting unreformed terrorists back on the street.
“We haven’t got the police to deal with them. In many cases they have not been reformed and they are more dangerous than when they were convicted.”
Ahmed, born in Rochdale, Lancs, is said to be at the centre of al-Qaeda’s global web.
He reportedly had links with the fanatics behind the 7/7 bombings in London on July 7 2005 which killed 52 people and injured 700.
He is also suspected of being in touch with the extremists behind the failed plot two weeks later to detonate more bombs in the capital.
Ahmed was arrested in Pakistan and became the first person convicted by a British court on a charge of directing a terrorist organisation.
His Parole Board hearing, due in March, comes after hate preacher Anjem Choudary, 51, was released after serving less than half his five-year sentence for encouraging support for the Muslim fanatics ISIS.
Ex-counter terror chief Mr Phillips added: “We need to work out what we are going to do with those people who are unreformed terrorists.
“It’s OK letting them out but we only need one of them to go and commit an atrocity and the police will get the blame. We are putting more and more dangerous people back on the streets.”
Police are running more than 700 terror probes in the UK and are struggling to monitor freed extremists. Every extra convicted terrorist released from prison adds to the workload.
Ahmed was jailed in 2008 for being an al-Qaeda member and possessing a document for terror purposes. He headed a three-man cell which was preparing to commit terrorist acts on UK soil.
He was jailed for life, with the judge directing that he must serve a minimum of ten years.
For the past decade Ahmed has worked in the kitchen at maximum-security Frankland prison in County Durham.
He reportedly made pizzas and pastries inside the Category A jail.
Today a Parole Board spokesman said: “We can confirm the parole review of Rangzieb Ahmed has been referred to the Parole Board and is following the standard processes.”
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “We know members of al-Qaeda are heavily indoctrinated. So this man remains a clear and present danger to the British public.”
Ahmed was arrested in Pakistan after his code books, written in invisible ink, were discovered in a combined operation involving MI5, MI6 and counter-terrorism police in Manchester.
He had been under surveillance as he travelled from Pakistan to South Africa on a mission for al-Qaeda.
He was forced to abort the trip in Dubai because his al-Qaeda commander was killed in a US missile strike.
Ahmed phoned his associate Habib Ahmed, 28, a taxi driver in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, to help him smuggle his contact books into Britain.
Rangzieb gave Habib a Filofax and two exercise books written in invisible ink which amounted to a compendium of contacts for members of al-Qaeda. During their meeting at a hotel in Dubai they were bugged discussing al-Qaeda, which they referred to as “the company”.
Habib told Rangzieb: “I heard you’ve become a manager,” to which Rangzieb replied: “Yeh, higher even than a manager, mate.” Habib flew back to Britain separately and his luggage was secretly opened as he passed through Schipol airport in Amsterdam when the code books were discovered.
When Rangzieb arrived in Manchester his rucksack was swabbed by security services who found traces of plastic explosive.
Following a three-month trial at Manchester crown court Rangzieb and Habib were convicted and jailed for a minimum ten years. A convicted terrorist is being released from prison nearly every week in the UK, with notorious hate preachers among those freed.
Counter-terror cop Neil Basu told MPs that around 80 per cent of their 700 live inquiries related to Islamist plots.
Asked about hate preacher Choudary’s release, Mr Basu said: “Every minute that we spend having to look at somebody like that is a minute taken away from a priority operation. It is not a great position to be in.”
From Rochdale kid to evil radical
This is how Rangzieb Ahmed became an al-Qaeda operative.
1975: Ahmed, a British-Pakistani citizen, is born in Rochdale. In his teens he travels to fight in Kashmir.
1993: He is arrested by Indian authorities and jailed.
2001: Ahmed is released and visits Britain briefly before returning to Pakistan, where he continues to support banned terror groups. By 2005 he is living once more in Britain and is under surveillance by Manchester detectives.
2006: He flies to Pakistan and is arrested. He is allegedly beaten, deprived of sleep, and has three fingernails pulled out with pliers. After two weeks he is interviewed by two British agents.
2007: Ahmed is deported to Britain and charged with directing terrorism.
A judge rules that although Ahmed has been held in inhumane conditions in Pakistan, torture is not proved.
2008: Ahmed found guilty.
2009: Ahmed is allegedly offered a sentence cut in return for dropping torture claims. Police firmly deny this.
Source: Read Full Article