Sun : Terror suspect was allowed to walk free and do whatever he wanted... this shambles is just typical

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Terror suspect was allowed to walk free and do whatever he wanted... this shambles is just typical

By BEN ASHFORD and ANTHONY FRANCE | April 11, 2009

POLICE chiefs blasted Britain’s immigration shambles last night as they revealed a terror suspect was allowed in with dodgy visa papers.

The Pakistani was stopped by immigration officers at Manchester airport.

But incredibly he was allowed to walk free — and simply told to report back at a future date.

Days later the unnamed suspect was arrested as anti-terror cops swooped on an internet café in Manchester.

A senior police source told The Sun: “It was a shambles, but absolutely typical of immigration in this country — we see this sort of thing all the time.

“This man’s documents were all over the place when he landed. He was allowed to proceed on the basis that he had to come back at a later date and show them correct documents.

“He was never going to do that. He was effectively free to do whatever he wanted.” Eleven of the 12 suspects seized this week are Pakistanis who entered Britain on student visas.

One of them has today been released into the custody of the UK Borders Agency.

Cops were today given longer to question the rest of the terror suspects.

The source added: “Most of them hadn’t been near a college, yet somehow they got visas.”

The revelation is a major embarrassment for Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, who yesterday insisted Britain’s security processes were world-class.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We desperately need proper policing of our borders but despite all the promises from this Government, it simply is not happening.”

Police probing the alleged terror plot discovered the immigration blunder as officers faced a race against time to find a suspected bomb factory.

Detectives fear an al-Qaeda cell has gathered enough materials to cause devastation in Manchester, but they have been unable to locate key components despite hunts in Liverpool, Manchester and Clitheroe, Lancs.

They were searching a second flat in Liverpool yesterday as they continued to quiz suspects including alleged ringleader Abid Naseer, 22, Hamza Shenwari, Sultan Sher and Abdul Wahab Khan.

It also emerged that another unnamed suspect was threatened with deportation after immigration officials found he was working as a security guard instead of studying — but he was allowed to stay.

Two security guards seized in Clitheroe were named locally as Johnus Khan and Umar Farooq.

Photos found at an address indicated targets for an alleged bomb attack included the Arndale and Trafford shopping centres, the Birdcage nightclub and St Ann’s Square in Manchester.

Intelligence indicated a plot to strike over Easter.

Bungling anti-terror chief Bob Quick then unwittingly revealed in public a secret document showing details of planned raids.

His gaffe forced cops to swoop immediately. Mr Quick later resigned as Assistant Commissioner with the Met Police.

Two suspects were arrested in Pakistan yesterday, security sources said.

They are suspected of using coded emails to pass orders from al-Qaeda chiefs to plotters in the Manchester area.

Terror chiefs are said to have ordered an Easter strike as part of a renewed assault on Britain.

An intelligence source said: “There is evidence that al-Qaeda are re-focusing their sights on the UK. The threat has never gone away but it has been stepped up in recent months.”

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK yesterday claimed Britain carried out insufficient checks on foreign students.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan said Pakistani authorities could help with checks on applicants — but were not allowed to.

Mr Woolas insisted there was no guarantee that extra visa checks would stop terrorists getting in.