London mayor, Boris Johnson, has called for a tougher stance in the fight against terrorism after a suspect went missing while wearing a burqa. This is the second suspect under the terrorism prevention and investigation measures or “Tpims” to escape in less than a year.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed went missing only hours after an Old Bailey prosecution against him for tampering with is electronic tag was discontinued when the crown offered no evidence.
“If a fellow can get into a burqa and evade his invigilators in the way that Mr. Mohamed has done, then we clearly need to look at how they are working,” Johnson said.
The mayor blamed coalition politics for watering down the previous regime and control of Tpims and urged home secretary Theresa May to get tough with the Liberal Democrats to end the “ludicrous” situation.
“Depending on how much risk you are deemed to pose, you should be deprived of contact with networks that might help you with any end you desire. This guy Mohamed was obviously helped to escape. I don’t believe for a minute that he did it on his own,” Johnson said.
“He was in contact with people who are sympathizers. Characters such as him – and even if he doesn’t pose an immediate threat to this country, it is plain he is a danger – should be more closely invigilated than they currently are and I am sure that is a point that Theresa May will be taking up,” the mayor added.
Since the cross-dressing terror suspect disappeared, May has defended the way Tpims are used. She has told MPs that although he did not represent a direct threat to the British public, the Tpim had been imposed to stop him travelling overseas to support terrorism.
The Metropolitan police counter-terrorism unit has launched a massive manhunt and have circulated a picture of Mohamed along with all his details to all ports and airports in the country. Mohamed is a British citizen but police hold his passport.
Mohamed has been linked with al-Shabaab, and is believed to have helped various individuals to travel from Britain to Somalia to engage in terrorism-related activities.
Ibrahim Magag was the first terror suspect under the current Tpims system to vanish. He simply ripped off his electronic tracking tag and jumped into a black cab in north London and disappeared without a trace.