LONDON: A senior member of a British terrorist group has been jailed for breaking strict counterterrorism measures imposed on him.
The man, who cannot legally be named, was a leader in the banned group Al-Muhajiroun. In September last year the man, known only as LF, triggered a manhunt after cutting off an electronic monitoring tag and fleeing his home late at night.
He had been subject to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM), introduced to monitor the movement of high-security-risk individuals and prevent them from engaging in terrorist activity.
LF was jailed for three years and two months after admitting to breaching the TPIM order imposed on him.
Prosecutor Kate Williamson said he had cut off his tag in the middle of the night, burned various documents and then caught a taxi to London.
She said he had been due in court the next day for a review of a previously suspended sentence.
His departure triggered a widespread manhunt and caused delays of up to nine hours at the UK’s ports, as traffic was subject to additional checks to ensure “that he could be found and not leave the jurisdiction,” Williamson added. The man arranged to hand himself in after 36 hours.
LF’s lawyer Catherine Oborne said he did not abscond out of terrorist motives — a point accepted by the prosecution.
Al-Muhajiroun, a proscribed terrorist organization since 2006, has been directly or indirectly involved in a number of terrorist attacks and other terror-related activity in the UK for a number of years.
Its former leader Anjem Choudary is one of the UK’s most prominent terrorists, and the court found that LF had assumed leadership of the group “in his absence” when Choudary was jailed.
LF was an associate of one of the men who killed eight people in an attack on London Bridge in June 2018.
Al-Muhajiroun members have been linked to a number of other deadly attacks in Britain that have claimed many lives.