December 7 2013 Latest news:
Monday, November 4, 2013
Police are hunting a terror suspect after he escaped surveillance by changing into a burka on a visit to a west London mosque.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, who is understood to have received training and fought overseas for al-Shabaab, was last seen at An-Noor Masjid and Community Centre mosque in Acton on Friday afternoon.
He entered the building wearing Western-style clothes, but CCTV images issued by Scotland Yard later show him leaving with his face and body fully covered by the traditional Islamic garment.
The 27-year-old is subject to a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures notice (Tpim).
Following an application from the Home Secretary, a court-imposed anonymity order banning the publication of Mohamed’s name has been lifted to allow police to make a public appeal.
Mohamed is “not considered at this time to represent a direct threat to the public”, Scotland Yard said, but police urged anyone who sees him to call 999 immediately.
Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “National security is the government’s top priority and the police are doing everything in their power to apprehend this man as quickly as possible.
“The police and security services do not believe that this man poses a direct threat to the public in the UK.”
Somalia-born Mohamed, who is 5ft 8in tall and of medium build, arrived at the mosque in Church Road at 10am on Friday and was last seen there at 3.15pm that day.
He is the second person to breach a Tpim since they were introduced to replace control orders in early 2012.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The Counter Terrorism Command immediately launched inquiries to trace Mr Mohamed and these continue.
“Ports and borders were notified with his photograph and details circulated nationally. Public safety remains our priority.”
Tpims, which include restrictions on overnight residence, travel and finance, are imposed by judges who are given access to secret evidence that can not be placed before juries. They do not allow for the relocation of suspects, as control orders did.
Unlike control orders, Tpims have a maximum time limit of two years. Control orders could be extended year on year without limit, while Tpims can be extended after a year for another 12 months before they expire.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper described the situation as “extremely serious” and called for an urgent independent investigation.
“Clearly police and security agencies will be doing everything possible to locate this terror suspect and ensure public safety,” she said.
“The Home Secretary also needs to provide information about the decisions made over Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed’s Tpim, how he was able to abscond and what the risks to the public are.”