Freed terrorists face new restrictions in Britain

November 8th, 2010 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 8 (IANS) At least 46 convicted terrorists who have been either released from prison or are close to being freed face new restrictions on their freedom in Britain as they “pose a risk” to the society, a media report said Monday.

Concern over the release of a “significant” number of Islamic extremists has driven ministers to draw up rules for their supervision, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Probation officers have been issued with a “menu” of restrictions that can be placed on terrorists freed on licence.

The curbs are understood to include orders to have contact with only government-approved imams, not to visit certain mosques, not to associate with anyone with a criminal record and not to use computers, the report said.

According to ministry of justice figures, at least 20 convicted terrorists have been freed from jail this year after completing their sentences. Another 26 will be eligible for release over the next two years.

Amid warnings from security officials about the threat posed by freed extremists, the ministry has issued probation officers with orders permitting significant limits on their clients’ freedom.

A copy of the ministry’s document, marked “Restricted” and entitled ‘The Management of Critical Public Protection Cases and Terrorist or Terrorist Related Offenders’, states: “There is now a small but significant number of terrorists being held in custody or managed on licence.

“This instruction ensures that processes to manage offenders who pose a risk of harm to the public or whose cases pose complex management issues are effectively configured to meet the challenges of managing terrorist offenders.”

The threat of Islamic terrorism was underlined last week by the discovery of a parcel bomb on a plane at East Midlands airport, and the jailing of Roshonara Choudhry, a student who was inspired by Al Qaeda to attempt to murder the Labour MP Stephen Timms.

By some estimates there are now more than 100 convicted Islamic terrorists in the British prison system, the report said.

The document warns that released terrorists may try to take work that puts them in contact with those who may be susceptible to extremist ideologies.

Terrorist offenders, like other prisoners, are eligible for release after serving half of their sentence. If freed, they are put “on licence”, subject to restrictions which, if broken, can return them to jail.

The extensive new curbs on freed terrorists’ movements come as ministers are deciding whether to abolish control orders, the legal orders that effectively place some terrorist suspects under house arrest. Some ministers want to scrap the control orders, fearing they infringe the civil liberties of the suspects.

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