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'Olympic breach' terror suspect challenges restrictions on movement

A suspected terrorist who MI5 believe is a would-be suicide bomber was found repeatedly near the Olympic Games venue.
The Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, will be protected by the largest peacetime security operation ever seen in Britain when the event begins on July 27 Photo: Getty

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A suspected terrorist allegedly found straying near the Olympic Games site in breach of a court order is now fighting to have the restrictions on his movements lifted.

The man - named only as "CF" - is an alleged al Qaeda militant and MI5 believe him to be a would-be suicide bomber. he is also accused of travelling to Afghanistan to fight "Jihad" in 2008.

Early this year he was placed under a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure (TPIM), which had replaced control orders, requiring him to wear an electronic tag, mapping out reporting requirements to police, and limiting his use of computers and the Internet.

But it emerged at the weekend that he has been arrested for breaching the conditions of the order after travelling through the Olympic Park in Stratford on a train on five occasions between April and May this year.

The alleged breaches are now subject to separate crimimal proceedings but at the High Court yesterdya his lawyers launched a legal bid challenging his order as a whole.

His barrister, Danny Friedman, challenged the original issue of the control order and the TPIM notice.

The court heard how CF had "absconded" during a criminal trial and travelled to strife-torn Somalia in June 2009 where he "attended terrorist training", and fought alongside an extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda.


He was deported from Somalia back to the UK in March last year alongside another man who is joining him in his court challenge,.

Mr Friedman cross-examined a security service operative named only as "D" - who gave evidence from behind a screen - quizzing him about the grounds for the continuing restrictions on CF, and the extent of them.

CF himself is expected to give evidence in the case on Wednesday. He is arguing that the order shuold be quashed because it is an abuse of process and there is insufficient evidence that he is involved in terrorist activity.

James Eadie QC, for the Home Office, said the Security Service was standing by its assessment that CF had "sought to travel to Afghanistan for terrorism-related activity". He added that CF had also "attempted to recruit fighters in the UK for fighting overseas".

And, although CF has denied the allegations, Mr Eadie claimed that "his account is untruthful in a number of rspects".

Mr Friedman suggested that CF was deported to the UK from Somalia in questionable circumstances, after experiencing a "torrid time" whilst detained there.

He referred to evidence from a British Consulate official who visited CF while detained in Somalia in January 2011, and bore witness to CF's troubled state.

CF "broke down in tears" as he told the consulate official how he was "hooded and handcuffed" by Somali security guards following his arrest, while CF also claimed to have heard "someone giving orders in a British accent", said Mr Friedman.

At one point CF also claimed he had been "partly strangled" with a length of cloth.

Mr Friedman suggested to "Witness D" that CF's ordeal would have "impacted" on him after his return from Somalia to the UK.

But the witness said he had seen no compelling evidence of CF having been ill-treated while in Somalia, nor any evidence to support "allegations of British complicity".

The High Court hearing continues.


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