UK terror inmates set for release: Report

UK terror inmates set for release: Report
File photo of police officers standing near a cordon at Manchester Victoria Station, in Manchester on January 1, 2019, following a stabbing on December 31, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 08 November 2020

UK terror inmates set for release: Report

UK terror inmates set for release: Report
  • About 110 convicted extremists could soon walk British streets as country raises threat level to severe

LONDON: Some of the UK’s most dangerous terror inmates could be freed as early as next month as they become eligible for parole, The Times newspaper reported.

Many convicted terrorists must serve at least two-thirds of their sentence before being considered for release by the UK Parole Board. 

Officials revealed that 110 prisoners had reached the two-thirds threshold and have been referred for parole for potential early release.

A spokesman for the Parole Board said its members had received “rigorous training” in handling terrorism cases, and inmates that pose a risk would not be released.

The UK last week raised its terror threat level to severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely.”

Britain’s youngest Daesh supporter, who plotted to behead police at an Australian Anzac Day parade while aged 14, could be among the first to be released.

Other jailed terrorists who could leave prison include a Briton who downloaded terror material online, and a man who tried to join Daesh.

The UK’s first Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist was released from prison earlier this year. Moinul Abedin, 47, was jailed for 20 years in 2002 after stockpiling bomb-making chemicals in Birmingham. He was freed following a parole hearing in February.

The Anzac Day terrorist, now 20, became eligible for parole last month. Known by the initials “RXG,” he was granted lifelong anonymity by the UK High Court.

In 2015, he was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum five-year term after using social media and encrypted messaging from his bedroom in the UK to encourage an 18-year-old Australian to attack police officers at an Anzac Day parade in Melbourne. The plot failed and both perpetrators were jailed.

An assessment carried out in 2018 by a forensic psychologist said: “RXG appears to have left his ‘terrorist identity’ behind and is well on the way to developing a new stable and pro-social identity.”

If freed, RXG is likely to be monitored and will face tough restrictions, including an internet ban.

The Parole Board spokesman said: “Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”