Telegraph : Manchester 'terror plot' emails

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Manchester 'terror plot' emails

Extracts from emails intercepted by MI5 in connection with an alleged al-Qaeda plot in Manchester

July 30, 2009

Dec 3 11.33am

from humaonion@xxxxx.com (student in Manchester) to sana_pakhtana@xxxxx.com (contact in Pakistan called Sohaib)

I saw a slight glimpse of Huma day before yesterday but she was very weak and difficult to convince.

Nadia is more gorgeous than Huma at the moment and she is easy to befriend….Nadia is crystal clear girl and it wont take long to relate with her.

Dec 14 12.18pm

from Pakistan to Manchester

Hmm tell me that how is ur sweety girl friend I miss her a lot

Dec 15 8.47pm

From Manchester to Pakistan

About my Girl friend. As I told you about Huma’s affair. Nadia is still waiting for my response. She is very loyal and She has created a place in my heart. You know Gulnaz and Fozia. WOW man. I would love to get them in my friends list but you know I have been thinking about their abilities. Gulnaz sounds ok but she is found [sic] of money. Fozia is some times bull shit. She lets you down sometime.

I am still keeping my car because most of the jobs they ask for it and other reason is you know girls mostly like guys with car.

Jan 15 2009 12.41pm

from Pakistan to Manchester

hmmmm so u have a lot of girl friendsss me also like girlsssss pay my salam [greetings] for ur girls friend ok

when ever u will mariii soo plz first see ur girl friend how is she…is she nice and beautiy and honest bec [because] we marii in life on [only] one time

Feb 16 1.35pm

from Manchester to Pakistan

You know what girls are like. I am bore of being bachelor now LOL [laughs out loud] so I would try to make it happen in the near future. I will be careful about my choice because your whole family life depends upon the decision.

April 3 4.19pm

from Manchester to Pakistan

I met with Nadia family and we both parties have agreed to conduct the nikah [wedding] after 15th and before 20th of this month.

I am delighted that they have strong family values and we will have many guests attending the party. Anyways I wished you could be here as well to enjoy the party.

THE CODE

MI5 believe that the student was using the girls’ names Huma, Nadia, Gulnaz and Fozia to refer to different bomb-making chemicals.

“Weak and difficult to convince” is thought to refer to the strength of hydrogen peroxide available, and “crystal clear” to the strength of another chemical.

Their “abilities” and “letting you down” refer to how efficient the chemicals were, to which the answer from Pakistan comes that that the girl should be “nice and beautiful and honest because we marry in life only once.”

The security service feared that a reference to “girls mostly like guys with car” referred to a possible car bomb and the constant reference to weddings and parties, to the attack itself.

Telegraph : Cars and girls: email 'codewords’ that put MI5 on terrorist alert

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cars and girls: email 'codewords’ that put MI5 on terrorist alert

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent | July 30, 2009

A Muslim terrorist suspect sent coded emails to an al-Qaeda commander in which references to his impending marriage were in fact details of a planned bomb attack in Britain, MI5 has claimed.

The messages, intercepted by the security service, allegedly showed that an extremist cell in Manchester was communicating with a commander in Pakistan to execute an Easter bombing campaign.

The emails, written by a 23-year-old Pakistani student, appeared to refer to several girlfriends and plans to buy a car. But the Home Office claimed that the text was code for a car-bomb attack intended to take place within days.

It led to the largest terrorist alert in Britain for two years and a series of arrests, which were brought forward after Bob Quick, the then head of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, was pictured walking into Downing Street holding a piece of paper disclosing details of the operation, code-named Pathway.

Police across the North West moved in to arrest 11 students on April 8. During subsequent raids, officers found an A-to-Z with streets marked, photographs of shopping centres and a video of the men on a trip to the Welsh countryside. However, they found no evidence of bomb-making and none of the men was charged with terrorism offences.

On Monday, the eight emails were presented in evidence to a special hearing before a high court judge to decide whether the men should be deported.

MI5 believed that girls’ names were used to refer to chemicals and that talk of a “wedding” was actually a reference to the bombing itself. In one of the messages, allegedly sent to an al-Qaeda commander in Pakistan, the student, alleged to have been the leader of the cell, wrote that he planned to get married in 12 to 17 days. That caused alarm among the security services who feared an attack was imminent.

The Government is now attempting to have 10 men, who entered the country on student visas, deported to Pakistan, claiming they are a threat to national security.

In legal documents submitted by Robin Tam QC, for the Home Secretary, the Government maintained that the men were members of a “UK-based network involved in terrorist operational activity in the UK, most likely attack planning” and that the network was “directed by al-Qaeda based overseas”.

MI5 believes that the 23-year-old student, who cannot be named but is referred to as XC, was the “linchpin” of the group.

Eight men are appealing against deportation at the tribunal, including XC, Abdul Wahab Khan, Shoaib Khan, Mohammed Ramzan, Ahmed Faraz Khan and Tariq ur-Rehman, who has returned to Pakistan voluntarily.

Two others, Janas Khan and Sultan Sher, have been bailed pending deportation for visa irregularities, although the Government still maintains that they were “involved in an extreme Islamist network”. A British man, Hamza Shinwari, was released without further action being taken.

The men claim they were just friends and the trip to Wales was for sightseeing and playing cricket. Pictures in which they posed as “commandos” were just for fun, they said.

Richard Hermer QC, for XC, said that the Government’s evidence was of a “pitiful quality” and that the investigation by MI5 had been “at best incompetent”. “Despite what we assume was the most rigorous of counter-terrorism investigations, not one jot of evidence was found of bomb-making,” he said.

The Government’s case would “dissolve” if a thorough examination was made of XC’s internet use, which comprised hundreds of emails and visits to Muslim chat rooms in connection with a relationship, Mr Hermer said.

He added that, through text messages on XC’s mobile phone, police had traced a young woman who confirmed they were in a relationship and considering marriage.

The men were all denied bail yesterday pending a full hearing in March or April next year.

Telegraph : Manchester 'terror plot': problems MI5 face with intercepting emails

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Manchester 'terror plot': problems MI5 face with intercepting emails

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent | July 30, 2009

On the face of it a series of emails that compare the merits of girls who are “gorgeous” or “weak and difficult to convince” would not be the kind of thing to spark a nationwide terrorist alert.

The difficulty MI5 and GCHQ have always faced is trying to sift innocuous communications from those that may contain vital information on a potential attack and then to de-code them.

Their starting point has to be in identifying their targets and these days that is followed by a request for warrants to tap into emails.

Once that is done all the email traffic requested is diverted from the internet server to an analyst whose job it is to sift the humdrum from crucial intelligence.

In some cases they can spot a series of give away indications that are supposed to flag up to the recipient that this is an important email.

These emails contain some of those, although we cannot reveal what they are.

Another indication is a series of exchanges that do not seem to discuss anything, often sandwiched between platitudes and meaningless greetings.

The analysts are well practiced at attempting to decode the cryptic language used by al-Qaeda.

In the past terrorist have used the words “come over” even though they were on different continents – meaning “go on-line” – while others have talked in street slang using the term “nigga” and “BigDawg” to disguise their purpose.

The use of girls’ names is also a popular device designed to persuade anyone intercepting the emails that the senders are more interested in earthly pursuits than terrorism.

The problem is that the emails may not contain incriminating information at all, and in this case the decision to move in has resulted in a tussle in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) rather than the courts.

SIAC has the advantage of being able to hear information such as these emails behind closed doors but the crucial information they will want to know is who was receiving them.

Despite the lack of convictions and the men’s vehement protestations of innocence in Britain and Pakistan, MI5 feel vindicated. They maintain these men were connected to al-Qaeda and were planning an attack, and the fact that did not go ahead is enough for them.

Dawn : Bail pleas of seven students rejected in Britain

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bail pleas of seven students rejected in Britain

By M. Ziauddin | July 30, 2009

LONDON: The Special Immigration Appeals Commission on Wednesday rejected bail applications of all seven Pakistani students originally arrested along with three of their other countrymen on suspicion of being involved in terrorism activities but later released for want of actionable evidence and ordered to be deported on the grounds of national security.

Their appeals against deportation orders will now come up for hearing not before April 2010 when they would be completing almost one full year in detention since their arrest in April this year.

Out of the 10 arrested students one has already left for Pakistan voluntarily and two were released earlier this month on bail but are under police surveillance round the clock.

Soon after it was found that the students were arrested without any hard evidence, the British Home Office, looking for a face-saver, tried to rush the Pakistan government into signing a MoU under which it would be obliged not to arrest or torture any Pakistani the British government would deport on grounds of national security.

Islamabad refused to sign any such document on the grounds that if anyone was deported for being a threat to UK’s national security he would be as much a threat to its security because Pakistan was a front-line state in the war against terrorism.

Sibghatullah Kadri QC, who appeared pro bono on behalf of one of the detainees, told Dawn after the bail application was rejected that this was the first time in his legal career in the UK spanning over almost half a century that he found the ‘fair-minded’ British legal system trying to hide behind highly unfair rules.

‘It is nothing but pure pique on the part of British Home Office,’ he said. ‘Having failed to obtain a face saver from Pakistan the HO was now bent upon destroying the lives and the careers of the seven students,’ he added.

He was not sure if the appeals against deportation orders would come up for hearing even in April 2010, ‘I think they don’t have any intention of releasing them on bail and under the law they cannot deport them unless Pakistan agrees to sign an unfair agreement so I suspect that they would shut the doors on these students and throw the keys.’

Top News (India) : Britain denies bail to cleared Pakistani ''terror suspect'' students

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Britain denies bail to cleared Pakistani ''terror suspect'' students

Submitted by Mohit Joshi | July 30, 2009

July 30 : British authorities have denied bail to Pakistani students detained earlier this year on national security grounds in simultaneous raids conducted across the country.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission after hearing the bail pleas of two students, Muhammad Ramazan and Ahmad Faraz at the Royal Courts of Justice here, refused to grant bail in all seven cases levied against them, The Daily Times reports.

The commission also turned down the application filed by other two students, Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan filed earlier in the week.

Hearing the bail pleas, Justice Mitting said that none of the applications were viable for bail, and said: "Full reasons will be given in due course'.

It may be recalled that 12 students were arrested in raids across Britain in April. Ten out of the 12 taken into custody were Pakistanis, who had come to Britain on student visas.

After three weeks of intense interrogation all charges against the students were dropped in May due to lack of evidence.

However, they have been kept locked in high-security prisons under immigration laws, and handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation. (ANI)

Pakistan Times : Bail plea of Pakistani students in UK rejected

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bail plea of Pakistani students in UK rejected

'Pakistan Times' UK Bureau | July 30, 2009

LONDON (UK): The bail applications moved by incarcerated Pakistani students - detained by the British authorities on reasons of national security - have been refused by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

The Commission at the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London heard bail applications of Muhammad Ramazan and Ahmad Faraz in open and secret sessions and refused bail in all the seven cases.

The bail applications on behalf of Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan which were moved Tuesday by Barrister Sigbhatullah Kadri and solicitor Amjad Malik were also turned down and as that of Abid Naseer which was submitted on Monday.

The solicitors for Rizwan Sharif and Muhammad Farooq did not apply for bail today but according to Amjad Malik, Justice Mitting turned all applications down saying “none admitted to bail and full reasons will be given in due course.”

The students were among 12 persons arrested last April in a security swoop across north west England by the British anti-terror units.After three weeks, the charges were dropped on lack of evidence but the students - ten of whom hailing from NWFP - were handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation.

One of them Tariq-ur-Rehman returned home last month on his own after the British authorities agreed to withdraw deportation charges. The authorities have already released two other students Janas Khan and Sher Khan from detention.

Daily Times : Britain refuses bail to Pakistani students

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Britain refuses bail to Pakistani students

APP | Thursday, July 30, 2009

LONDON: The Special Immigration Appeals Commission on Wednesday refused bail applications moved by Pakistani students, detained by the British authorities for "posing a high risk" to the UK national security.

The commission at the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London heard bail pleas by Muhammad Ramazan and Ahmad Faraz in open and secret sessions and refused bail in all seven cases. The bail applications on behalf of Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan, which were moved on Tuesday by Barrister Sigbhatullah Kadri and solicitor Amjad Malik, and that of Abid Naseer – submitted on Monday – were also turned down.

The attorneys for Rizwan Sharif and Muhammad Farooq did not apply for bail on Wednesday but according to Amjad Malik, Justice Mitting turned all applications down saying "none admitted to bail and full reasons will be given in due course".

The students were among 12 people arrested last April in a security swoop across north-west England by the British anti-terror units. After three weeks, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence but the students, 10 of whom hailing from the NWFP, were handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation. One of them, Tariqur Rehman, returned home last month on his own after the British authorities agreed to withdraw deportation charges. The authorities have already released two other students – Janas Khan and Sher Khan.

Sky News : 'High Risk' Pakistani Students Refused Bail

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

'High Risk' Pakistani Students Refused Bail

Tom Rayner, home affairs producer | July 29, 2009

Seven Pakistani students who "pose a high risk" to UK national security have been refused bail while they await deportation hearings next year.

The men were arrested during anti-terror raids as part of Operation Pathway, which took place across the North West of England in April.

The operation had to be brought forward when Britain's then anti-terrorism chief Bob Quick was photographed carrying clearly visible secret papers relating to the raids.

None of the men has been charged with terror offences, due to insufficient evidence.

Lawyers representing them argued it was unacceptable to remand them in custody while they awaited an appeal next spring, which will consider whether they can be deported to Pakistan.

But Mr Justice Mitting has delivered the judgement of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission which ruled in favour of the Government, agreeing that bail should not be granted.

Anonymity restrictions have been lifted in the cases of Ahmed Faraz Khan, Mohammed Ramsen, Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan.

Three other men cannot be identified.

A Home Office spokesperson welcomed the decision, saying: "Protecting the public is the Government's top priority and we argued that this is best served by not granting these men bail while we seek their deportation on national security grounds."

Earlier this month it was revealed that two of the 11 men arrested in the raids across the North West were no longer considered a security risk.

Sultan Sher and Janus Khan, who have been bailed, now face deportation on the grounds of "visa irregularities".

The Hindu : Pak student was days away from terror attack: U.K. govt. London (PTI): A U.K.-based Pakistani student, one of the 12 alleged terror suspe

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pak student was days away from terror attack: U.K. govt.

July 29, 2009

London (PTI): A U.K.-based Pakistani student, one of the 12 alleged terror suspects arrested in April, was just "days away" from launching a major terror attack in the country, a secret immigration court has heard.

All the 12 suspects, including 10 Pakistani men, were released without any charge after the Scotland Yard could not produce enough evidence against them.

The Pakistanis were transferred to the custody of the U.K. Borders Agency and await deportation.

Details of the attack as planned by the Pakistani student were revealed during the immigration hearing here.

The student, identified only as 'XC', had used coded emails to discuss a terror plot, the government said.

The police had seized 64 computers in the operation and a number of "oddly-phrased emails" to and from 'XC' were noticed during investigation.

Some emails used the terms "crystal clear", which officials said referred to chemicals, and "weak and difficult to convince" referred to the concentration of the bomb-making chemical hydrogen peroxide, according to reports.

The terror arrests in April were embroiled in controversy even before they could begin. Britain's senior most counter-terrorism officer Bob Quick had to quit after he accidentally revealed details of a major anti-terror operation during a visit to Downing Street on April 8.

This forced the police to advance the planned anti-terror raids in northwest England, to thwart a possible al-Qaeda-linked terror plot.

No signs of any explosive material were found despite extensive searches in Liverpool, Manchester and Lancashire.

APP : Bail applications of Pakistani students refused

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bail applications of Pakistani students refused

July 29, 2009

LONDON, July 29 (APP)‑The bail applications moved by incarcerated Pakistani students, detained by the British authorities on reasons of national security, were refused Wednesday by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. The Commission at the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London heard bail applications of Muhammad Ramazan and Ahmad Faraz in open and secret sessions and refused bail in all seven cases.

The bail applications on behalf of Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan which were moved Tuesday by Barrister Sigbhatullah Kadri and solicitor Amjad Malik were also turned down and as that of Abid Naseer which was submitted on Monday.

The solicitors for Rizwan Sharif and Muhammad Farooq did not apply for bail today but according to Amjad Malik, Justice Mr.Mitting turned all applications down saying “none admitted to bail and full reasons will be given in due course.”

The students were among 12 persons arrested last April in a security swoop across north west England by the British anti‑terror units. After three weeks, the charges were dropped on lack of evidence but the students, ten of whom hailing from NWFP, were handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation.

One of them Tariq‑ur‑Rehman returned home last month on his own after the British authorities agreed to withdraw deportation charges. The authorities have already released two other students Janas Khan and Sher Khan from detention.

Telegraph : Easter bomb plot 'leader' sent coded emails

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Easter bomb plot 'leader' sent coded emails

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent | July 28, 2009

The leader of an alleged terrorist cell said to be plotting an Easter bomb attack in Manchester sent emails about his girlfriend which were actually coded messages about the plot, it has been claimed.

The Pakistani student, referred to only as XC who lived in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester, was the "lynchpin" of a gang that was only seven to 12 days from "executing a major terrorist bomb attack in the UK" when he was arrested on April 8, it was claimed.

Although he was not charged with any offence the Home Office is trying to deport him on the grounds he was a member of a "UK based network linked to al-Qaeda involved in attack planning."

It had been suggested that the targets were shopping centres in the city but the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London heard that the attack was against an "unspecified target."

SIAC was also told that police seized 64 computers and found a number of "oddly phrased emails" to and from XC, some of which used the terms "crystal clear," said to refer to chemicals, and "weak and difficult to convince" said to refer to the concentration of the bomb-making chemical hydrogen peroxide.

The commission heard that police had also found an A to Z map of Manchester on which a number of streets had been marked.

The gang, not including XC, were said to be under observation as they were "running and dancing" in the hills of Wales.

They were also seen meeting together on a number of other occasions.

Further details were heard behind closed doors as part of a bail hearing for XC but Richard Hermer QC for the appellant said the open evidence was of a "pitiful quality" and that the investigation by MI5 had been "at best incompetent."

"Despite what we assume was the most rigorous of counter-terrorism investigations, not one jot of evidence was found of bomb-making," he added.

He said the attempt by the security service to interpret the emails had failed to find any regular euphamisms in what they claimed was a "code" and they had admitted that the terms could also refer to weapons or recruiting other extremists.

"Context is everything and what needs to be done is to look at the totality of the respondent's use of the internet. If this is done the case will dissolve."

Mr Hermer said XC had sent hundreds of emails and been a regular visitor to Muslim websites and chat rooms in connection with a relationship.

He said police had been able to trace a young woman through XC's text messages who confirmed that she was in a relationship with him and they were talking about marriage.

Mr Hermer added that if there had been any evidence of a link to al-Qaeda, the government would have been obliged to have added the men's names to a United Nations list.

"He is a 23-year-old who has been branded as a terrorist with the intent to kill others and he wants to clear his name," Mr Hermer said.

Out of the 11 men arrested, a British man was released without charge, one has returned to Pakistan voluntarily, six others are also appealing against deportation and two have been bailed pending deportation for visa irregularities, although Robin Tam QC for the Home Secretary, claimed they were "involved in an extreme Islamist network."

APP : Judgement on Pakistan students bail application reserved

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Judgement on Pakistan students bail application reserved

July 28, 2009

LONDON, July 28 (APP)‑The bail applications moved by two Pakistani students, detained by the British authorities on reasons of national security, has been reserved till Wednesday by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. The bail applications on behalf of Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan were moved at the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London Tuesday by Barrister Sigbhatullah Kadri and solicitor Amjad Malik.

A similar application filed by Abid Naseer on Monday was also reserved pending decision later this week.

The students were among 12 persons arrested last April in a security swoop across north west England by the British anti‑terror units.

After three weeks, the charges were dropped on lack of evidence but the students, ten of whom came from the Frontier Province, were handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation.

One of them Tariq‑ur‑Rehman returned home last month on his own after the British authorities agreed to withdraw deportation charges. The authorities have already released two other students Janas Khan and Sher Khan from detention.

APP : Judgement on Pakistan students bail application reserved

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Judgement on Pakistan students bail application reserved

July 28, 2009

LONDON, July 28 (APP)‑The bail applications moved by two Pakistani students, detained by the British authorities on reasons of national security, has been reserved till Wednesday by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. The bail applications on behalf of Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan were moved at the Royal Courts of Justice in Central London Tuesday by Barrister Sigbhatullah Kadri and solicitor Amjad Malik.

A similar application filed by Abid Naseer on Monday was also reserved pending decision later this week.

The students were among 12 persons arrested last April in a security swoop across north west England by the British anti‑terror units.

After three weeks, the charges were dropped on lack of evidence but the students, ten of whom came from the Frontier Province, were handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation.

One of them Tariq‑ur‑Rehman returned home last month on his own after the British authorities agreed to withdraw deportation charges. The authorities have already released two other students Janas Khan and Sher Khan from detention.

Channel 4 News Student was 'days away' from terror attack

Monday, July 27, 2009

Student was 'days away' from terror attack

By Channel 4 News | July 27, 2009

A secret immigration court hears evidence that a Pakistani student used coded emails to plan a major terrorist attack in Britain.

A Pakistani student was just "days away" from a major attack, an immigration court heard today, as intelligence officials alleged the man - named only as XC - had used coded emails to discuss a terror plot.

The student was detained during police raids in April, which were suddenly brought forward after former police chief Bob Quick inadvertently revealed the details on a document he was photographed carrying into Downing Street.

At a bail hearing, lawyers for XC said the case against him was "pitiful", with no evidence linking him to bomb making.

Asian News : 'Terror' arrest student tells of shock at arrest

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

'Terror' arrest student tells of shock at arrest

July 21, 2009

A student who had been accused of being part of an alleged terror plot spoke of his shock at being arrested.

Janus Khan from Pakistan was among 12 men held during raids in the north west in April.

He and another man, Sultan Sher who was arrested while working in an internet cafe in Cheetham Hill, were released from custody on Friday.

Mr Khan was arrested in Liverpool, where he lived.

He must now wear an electronic tag and is facing deportation.

He told how police officers burst in adding: "It was a scary and shocking moment."

The 26-year-old, who was studying at Liverpool Hope University, was friends with six of the original 12 detained.

He denied holding extremist views or discussing extremism among the group, he said.

Staying in a Manchester hostel following his release from prison, Mr Khan said he was interviewed by officers more than 10 times.

Mr Khan and Mr Sher, who was living in Manchester, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport, claiming they were a threat to national security.

But that allegation was dropped last week a solicitor for one of them has said.

Home Office officials said the government would seek to deport them for alleged visa irregularities.

Mr Sher and Mr Khan were arrested as part of Operation Pathway, which was launched early, after a senior police officer exposed details of the plans.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, who resigned from the Metropolitan Police over the incident, was photographed with a secret document on his way to Downing Street.

Local campaigning group, Justice for the North West 10 has welcome the release of the two men and has urged the Home Office to immediately release the seven students still in prison.

National co-ordinator of the j4nw10 campaign, Tariq Mehmood said: "The government now admits they are innocent and they are not ‘a threat to national security’.

"Why then are Janus and Sultan being humiliated by being tagged like animals? This is a clear breach of their human rights and an attempt to save face by the authorities, since it is now obvious to the public that there was no ‘terror plot’."

He said: "The deportation orders were to hide government and police embarrassment at the lack of evidence against the students and control orders will perform the same function. This government acts as though it is above the law and refuses to admit it has ruined innocent lives in this appalling affair.

"It's now clear that Gordon Brown has misled the nation. There was never any terror plot. He should publicly apologise and resign."

The group also want the government to apologise to all the students and their families and to compensate all the students for the time and money they have lost as a result of the disruption of their studies and for the 13 weeks they were held Category A prisoners.

Added Mr Rehman: "We will continue to campaign for these demands and for the immediate, unconditional release of all the students."

Guardian : Britain downgrades al-Qaida terror attack alert level

Monday, July 20, 2009

Britain downgrades al-Qaida terror attack alert level

Officials reduce assessment of threat from 'severe' to 'substantial', its lowest level since 9/11

Alan Travis, home affairs editor | July 20, 2009

The official assessment of the threat level of an al-Qaida terrorist attack on Britain has been lowered from "severe" – where an attack is deemed highly likely – to "substantial", where an attack is considered a strong possibility.

The decision to lower the official threat level follows a new assessment by MI5 and the joint terrorism analysis centre, based on intelligence gathered in Britain and abroad on how close terrorist groups may be to staging an attack.

The designation of a "substantial" threat level is the lowest since 9/11. It confirms that the swine flu pandemic is now a bigger threat to the life of the nation than terrorism.

The home secretary, Alan Johnson, acknowledged that fact on Sunday, when he told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that swine flu came "above terrorism as a threat to this country". He said the long-term preparations had involved the whole "Cobra machinery", a reference to the Cabinet's emergency committe that handles major disasters.

The decision reportedly follows an official assessment of Operation Pathway, one of MI5's biggest counterterrorism campaigns, which led to the arrest of 11 Pakistani men in April. All those arrested were released without charge, and no explosives or weapons were found.

The system of threat levels is made up of five stages. At "critical", an attack is expected imminently. At "severe", an attack is regarded as highly likely. At "substantial", an attack is a strong possibility. At "moderate" an attack is possible but not likely. And at "low", an attack is deemed unlikely.

The home secretary said in a statement: "We still face a real and serious threat from terrorists and the public will notice little difference in the security measures that are in place, and I urge the public to remain vigilant. The police and security services are continuing in their thorough efforts to discover, track and disrupt terrorist activity."

Telegraph : Pakistani student arrested during terror raids 'to be deported for visa irregularities'

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pakistani student arrested during terror raids 'to be deported for visa irregularities'

By Ian Johnston | July 20, 2009

A Pakistani student arrested at gunpoint during an anti-terrorism operation is facing deportation for "visa irregularities" despite not being charged after the raids, it was claimed.

Janas Khan, 26, was arrested along with 11 other foreign students in April during 'Operation Pathway'.

It had to be brought forward by police after Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick was photographed as he walked into Downing Street, holding a file displaying details of the planned operation.

Despite being released without charge Mr Khan, who was studying for a Masters of Business Administration at Liverpool Hope University, is now facing deportation because of "visa irregularities".

He has also been forced to wear an electronic tag.

Mr Khan, who also works as a part-time as a security guard, protested his innocence during a series of interviews at the weekend.

He said: "Growing up we heard that the UK was the one place that respected human rights and justice, which is why I wanted to study here. I'm shocked and angry. I am innocent and I still can't believe I was arrested on no evidence.

"We came to this country to make our future, not to ruin it, not to destroy it. Our family sent us to do our degrees so when we go back to our country we get a good job."

He denied he and the six other arrested men he knows had ever been involved in extremism and when asked if they had even talked about it, he told Channel 4 News: "No, not too much.

"It was the best of life we were mostly discussing - about girls and class fellows and about our studies."

He said when he was arrested armed officers burst in, saying "don't move" and "put your hands up".

"I don't have words to describe that moment. It was a scary and shocking moment for us," he said.

Mr Khan, originally from Peshawar, and another man, Sultan Sher, were released from custody on Friday.

Now staying in a Manchester hostel following his release from Woodhill Prison, Mr Khan said he was interviewed by officers more than 10 times.

"They were asking me about my friends," he said.

"There was some pictures put in front of me and they were asking 'who's this guy?', 'who's this guy?'...'how did you meet with him?"

Mr Khan and Mr Sher, from Manchester, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport them, claiming they posed a threat to national security.

But that allegation was dropped last week, a solicitor for one of the men said.

Home Office officials said the Government would now seek to deport them for visa irregularities.

A spokesman said: "These individuals no longer meet the required criteria for detention on the grounds of national security.

"They are currently detained pending removal on immigration grounds, but legally we cannot hold them indefinitely.

"We are therefore putting in place suitable and robust measures to ensure we are fully aware of their whereabouts as we progress their cases for removal."

Lawyer Mohammed Ayub said the terror allegations against his client were "groundless" and he would oppose the continuing attempts to deport him.

He said: "It beggars belief that the Secretary of State could behave like this. Why was my client held in custody for all this time?

"I wish to state my client is entitled to an unreserved apology and no further action should be taken against him."

Of the remaining men held during the raid, one has joint British and Pakistani citizenship and has been released.

Another has returned to Pakistan voluntarily and an Afghan man is in custody pending deportation for allegedly being in the UK illegally.

The remaining seven still face deportation on the grounds of national security.

Their case returns to court later this month.

Belfast Telegraph : Pakistani student 'shocked' at terror arrest

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pakistani student 'shocked' at terror arrest

July 20, 2009

A Pakistani student accused of being part of an alleged terror plot has spoken of his shock at being arrested.

Janus Khan was among 12 men held during raids in the north west of England in April.

He and another man, Sultan Sher, were released from custody on Friday.

Mr Khan, who has been made to wear an electronic tag and is facing deportation following his three-month ordeal, told Channel 4 News police officers burst in, saying "don't move" and "put your hands up".

He said: "I don't have words to describe that moment.

"It was a scary and shocking moment for us."

The 26-year-old, who was studying at Liverpool Hope University and worked part-time as a security guard, was friends with six of the original 12 detained, he told the programme.

He denied holding extremist views or discussing extremism among the group, chatting instead about girls and their studies, he said.

Now staying in a Manchester hostel following his release from Woodhill Prison, Mr Khan said he was interviewed by officers more than 10 times.

"They were asking me about my friends," he said. "There was some pictures put in front of me and they were asking 'who's this guy?', 'who's this guy?'...'how did you meet with him?"

Mr Khan and Mr Sher, from Manchester, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport them, claiming they posed a threat to national security.

But that allegation was dropped last week, a solicitor for one of the men said.

Home Office officials said the Government would now seek to deport them for visa irregularities.

A spokesman said: "These individuals no longer meet the required criteria for detention on the grounds of national security.

"They are currently detained pending removal on immigration grounds, but legally we cannot hold them indefinitely.

"We are therefore putting in place suitable and robust measures to ensure we are fully aware of their whereabouts as we progress their cases for removal."

Lawyer Mohammed Ayub said the terror allegations against his client were "groundless" and he would oppose the continuing attempts to deport him.

He said: "It beggars belief that the Secretary of State could behave like this.

"Why was my client held in custody for all this time?

"I wish to state my client is entitled to an unreserved apology and no further action should be taken against him."

Of the remaining men held during the raid, one has joint British and Pakistani citizenship and has been released.

Another has returned to Pakistan voluntarily and an Afghan man is in custody pending deportation for being in the UK illegally.

The remaining seven still face deportation on the grounds of national security.

Their case returns to court on July 27.

Mr Sher and Mr Khan were arrested on April 18 as part of Operation Pathway, which was launched early after a senior police officer exposed details of the plans.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, who resigned from the Metropolitan Police over the incident, was photographed with a secret document on his way in to Downing Street.

La'eeq : MCB Writes to Lord Carlile and Operation Pathway

Sunday, July 19, 2009

MCB Writes to Lord Carlile and Operation Pathway

Sunday, July 19, 2009

~~~

24 April 2009

The MCB has written to Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of counter terrorism legislation, commending his initiative to launch an inquiry into "Operation Pathway". The resentment and anger caused by this particular case of 12 innocent men's detention and trial by media should not be underestimated, but the MCB's is particularly concerned that this is not an isolated case and incidents damaging to community relations are being repeated, with the lessons not being learned.

"While the media coverage may bring kudos in high circles, it is Muslims in Britain who bear the consequences. It is they who are emerging as the "suspect community" and who are viewed with suspicion by their neighbours. The reports are exploited by the extreme right wing and fascists. Each time there are tabloid headlines demonising Muslims, verbal and physical attacks follow. There is a real human price being paid", noted Dr Bari, MCB Secretary General in the letter.

In the letter, the MCB also urges Lord Carlile to critique the "intelligence gathering" aspects of counter-terrorism. Operation Pathway, it is believed, involved members of the public who had "undergone a crash course in surveillance techniques" (Sunday Express, 19th April 2009). Affiliates of the MCB have confirmed the climate of snooping. Are not the authorities mindful of the breakdown of trust and the impact on matters of ordinary civil policing? The MCB also hopes that his inquiry would analyse the flawed nature of recent anti-terrorism legislation, such as the reduction in the burden of proof and the provision for blanket stop and search powers.

Much rests on Lord Carlile to bring back our law enforcement agencies back into line, restore public confidence as a matter of urgency, and ensure that the lessons are being taken on board.

[Ends]

The Muslim Council of Britain is an umbrella body of some 500 mosques, charities and schools. For further information please contact:

The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
London E1 2WJ

Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079

media@mcb.org.uk

Please read the full text of the letter sent to Lord Carlile from the following link provided:

http://www.mcb.org.uk/uploads/LetterToLordCarlile.PDF

posted by Muhammad Maalik La'eeq @ Sunday, July 19, 2009

Channel 4 News : Interview with released terror suspect

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Interview with released terror suspect

July 19, 2009

Arrested by armed officers on suspicion of terrorism, then held for three months in a high-security jail, a Pakistani student rounded up in April as part of an alleged terror plot has spoken exclusively to Channel 4 News about his ordeal.

Janus Khan was one of 12 students arrested in a police swoop suddenly brought forward after former anti-terrorism chief Bob Quick was photographed in Downing Street with documents revealing details of the operation.

No charges have been brought, and Janus Khan was told on Friday that he was no longer considered a threat to national security.

But he is still being made to wear an electronic tag and is facing deportation.

[video link]

Independent : Pakistani students launch legal action over arrests

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pakistani students launch legal action over arrests

By Emily Dugan | July 19, 2009

Janas Khan, one of two Pakistani students released from prison yesterday months after terrorism charges against them were dropped, has told The Independent on Sunday he was "shocked and angry" at his treatment by the UK Government. Lawyers acting for the remaining seven Pakistani students still held in prison have also announced they will launch a legal challenge against the Government this week.

The 26-year-old business student began to cry as he said: "Growing up we heard that the UK was the one place that respected human rights and justice, which is why I wanted to study here. I'm shocked and angry. I am innocent and I still can't believe I was arrested on no evidence."

Sultan Sher was also released from prison yesterday. The two were among 12 students who were arrested in April after the UK's most senior counterterrorism officer was photographed walking into Downing Street carrying highly sensitive documents revealing details of the operation. The details were visible, and a premature police operation against an alleged al-Qa'ida plot ensued. The officer responsible, Scotland Yard's Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick, resigned.

Criminal charges against all the students were dropped in May because of insufficient evidence, but they have been kept locked in high-security prisons under immigration laws. "They never told us what it was that we were supposed to have done," said Mr Khan. His studies were due to finish in September, but the limitations of his parole conditions means it will be impossible to travel from Manchester to meet his tutors in Liverpool.

Legal challenges for the remaining students will now add to the authorities' embarrassment following the bungled terror case. Two lawsuits will contest the legality of the Government's use of secret evidence in their continued imprisonment as well as the lawfulness of the initial arrest.

Times : Terrorist threat lowest since 9/11

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Terrorist threat lowest since 9/11

David Leppard | The Sunday Times | July 19, 2009

THE threat of an Al-Qaeda attack on Britain is lower than at any time since before the 9/11 attacks, MI5 has privately concluded.

Well-placed officials said there had been discussions in MI5 over the past month about whether to reduce the terrorist threat level from “severe” – where an attack is deemed highly likely – to “substantial”, where it is “a strong possibility”.

The assessment follows Operation Pathway, one of MI5’s biggest counterterrorist campaigns. It led to the arrest of 11 Pakistani men in April.

The men were released without charge. When no explosives or weapons were found, critics said the operation revealed the absence of any terrorist plot against the UK.

Although MI5 declined to comment, evidence of the perceived lower risk came last week when the US navy moored a warship, the Halyburton, in London.

“The Americans wouldn’t dream of [it] if the threat of an attack was high,” a security official said.

LittleAbout : Britain drops deportation orders for Pak students

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Britain drops deportation orders for Pak students

July 18, 2009

London, July 18 - ANI: Britain has withdrawn deportation orders on two of the nine Pakistani students who were detained on national security grounds earlier this year.

Both students, Sultan Sher and Janas Khan belong to the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan and were arrested from Leeds and Milton Keynes respectively.

The students are expected to be released once authorities complete the legal formalities, The Nation reports.

Students attorney said that the officials would now go through the usual immigration process, and if their visas are found legal and valid, they will be allowed to continue their study in Britain.

It may be noted that 12 students were arrested in simultaneous raids across Britain in April. Ten out of the 12 taken into custody were Pakistanis, who had came to Britain on students visa.

However, after three weeks of intense interrogation all charges against the students were dropped due to lack of evidence. They were then handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation.

Meanwhile, two students Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan, Amjad Malik have applied for further bail before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Their bail plea would be heard on July 27. - ANI

The Herald : ‘Terror plot’ pair to go free as MP calls police operation a catalogue of errors

Friday, July 17, 2009

‘Terror plot’ pair to go free as MP calls police operation a catalogue of errors

July 17, 2009

Two Pakistani students accused of being part of an alleged terror plot are to be released from custody.

Sultan Sher and Janus Khan were among 12 men held during raids in the north west of England in April.

The pair, who are in their mid 20s, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport them, claiming they posed a threat to national security.

But that allegation was dropped yesterday, a solicitor for one of the men said.

Mohammed Ayub said the pair would be released subject to conditions, including wearing an electronic tag and reporting to police.

Home Office officials said the government would now seek to deport them for visa irregularities.

A Home Office spokesman said: "These individuals no longer meet the required criteria for detention on the grounds of national security.

"They are currently detained pending removal on immigration grounds, but legally we cannot hold them indefinitely.

"We are therefore putting in place suitable and robust measures to ensure we are fully aware of their whereabouts as we progress their cases for removal."

Mr Ayub said the terror allegations against his client were "groundless" and he would oppose the continuing attempts to deport him.

He said: "It beggars belief that the Secretary of State could behave like this.

"Why was my client held in custody for all this time?"

"I wish to state my client is entitled to an unreserved apology and no further action should be taken against him."

Of the remaining men held during the raid, one has joint British and Pakistani citizenship and has been released.

Another has returned to Pakistan voluntarily and an Afghan man is in custody pending deportation for being in the UK illegally.

The other seven face deportation on the grounds of national security. Their case returns to court on July 27.

Sher, living in Manchester, and Khan, living in Liverpool, were arrested on April 18 as part of Operation Pathway.

The operation was launched early after Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick of Metropolitan Police was photographed going in to Downing Street with a document giving details of the police plan. Mr Quick subsequently resigned.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, called for Home Secretary Alan Johnson to make an urgent statement over the matter.

He said: "The release of two Pakistani students who were alleged to have been part of terrorist activity begs a number of questions as to why they were detained in the first place.

"There appears to have been a catalogue of errors.

"It is important that the Home Secretary makes a statement as a matter of urgency to clarify exactly what happened."

© All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

APP : British authorities withdraw deportation orders on Pak students

Friday, July 17, 2009

British authorities withdraw deportation orders on Pak students

July 17, 2009

LONDON, July 17 (APP)-The British authorities have decided to withdraw deportation orders on two of the nine Pakistani students detained on national security grounds. The students Sultan Sher and Janas Khan who both belong to NWFP, and detained in Leeds and Milton Keynes respectively, are expected to be released later on Friday after the completion of the normal process.

According to their lawyer, the students are now expected to be dealt with the usual immigration process and if their visas are found to be valid will be allowed to stay in the UK to continue their studies.

On April 8 this year, Manchester based police arrested 12 men in parallel raids at 10 addresses across Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire.

Ten of those arrested were Pakistan-born nationals on student visas and one a UK-born British national. After three weeks, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence, but they were handed over to the UK Borders Agency for deportation.

One student Tariq-ur-Rehman returned home voluntarily last month on the condition that the British authorities withdraw deportation orders.

Meanwhile, Amjad Malik, lawyer representing two students Abdul Wahab Khan and Shoaib Khan has applied for further bail before Special Immigration Appeals Commission which is due for hearing here on July 27.

Taiwan News : 2 students held in UK terror raids to be freed

Friday, July 17, 2009

2 students held in UK terror raids to be freed

Associated Press | February 17, 20001

Britain's High Commission in Pakistan says two Pakistani men detained during a series of terrorism raids in northern England are due to be released.

The two men were among 12 students arrested in April and are being held in immigration detention. They had been due to be deported to Pakistan after the U.K. ruled they posed a risk to British national security.

British authorities had alleged the men were connected to an al-Qaida network based in the U.K., and intended to carry out a major terrorism attack.

The British High Commission in Islamabad said Friday that deportation proceedings had been dropped.

Lawyer Mohammed Ayub says his client Sultan Sher is one of the two men being released. Eight other men are awaiting deportation.

TeleText : Pair released without charge

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pair released without charge

July 17, 2009

A man from Liverpool and a man from Manchester who the Home Office claimed were a threat to national security have been released without charge.

Sultan Sher and Janus Khan were among 12 men arrested in the north west and held in custody since April.

But they must now wear electronic tags and report to police as the Government seeks to deport them to Pakistan.

Canadian Press : Britain to free 2 Pakistani students detained during April terror raids in northern England

Friday, July 17, 2009

Britain to free 2 Pakistani students detained during April terror raids in northern England

By David Stringer (CP) | July 17, 2009

LONDON — Two Pakistani men detained during a series of terrorism raids in northern England are no longer considered a threat and will be released, but they could still face deportation over immigration offences, British officials said Friday.

The two men were among 12 students arrested in high-profile April raids, and have been held for several months in immigration detention. They had been due to be deported to Pakistan after the U.K. ruled they posed a risk to British national security, but officials have concluded they are no longer a threat, Jennifer Wilkes, a spokeswoman for the British High Commission in Islamabad, said in a statement.

Judge John Mitting told a court hearing in May that Britain's Home Office alleged the arrested men were linked to al-Qaida and involved in planning terrorist attacks in Britain. The men have maintained their innocence.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the police operation had foiled a "very big terrorist plot," but law enforcement and security official have not disclosed any specifics of the alleged plans. Following the raids, police said there was insufficient evidence to charge any of the men with criminal offences. They have remained held for deportation since.

"Their case has been kept under constant review, and as soon as it became clear that these individuals did not meet the criteria for deportation, the decision was taken to drop deportation proceedings," Wilkes said.

"This has clearly been a difficult time for these individuals, which we regret. It was however necessary, given the reason for their arrest and detention, to carry out a rigorous investigation," she added.

The Home Office said the two men will be released on Friday, but that authorities will now attempt to deport the men on different grounds. One was refused a visa extension in March, and authorities will attempt to revoke the second man's student visa because they do not believe he is carrying out legitimate studies, the ministry said. Both will be fitted with electronic tags while their cases are considered.

Lawyer Mohammed Ayub, based in Bradford, northern England, said his client Sultan Sher is one of the two men being released. He said he represents two other men still detained.

"All our clients have maintained throughout their ordeal that they were here on lawful purposes as students. Our clients reiterate they are neither extremists nor terrorists," Ayub said.

In addition to the two students due to be released, eight other men are awaiting deportation - seven to Pakistan and one to Afghanistan. One other man has returned to Pakistan voluntarily and another is a British national who was freed following his arrest.

Families of the arrested students in Pakistan reacted with anger, and have demanded that the men either be charged with an offence, or freed and allowed to complete their studies in Britain.

The case rattled British-Pakistani relations, already under pressure after Brown said that at least three-quarters of all terrorist plots against the U.K. have links to Pakistan - and specifically the country's northwest, where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds.

Ayub said Britain's government should consider holding an inquiry into the police operation, to review mistakes. "No other innocent person should have to suffer the ordeal that our clients have," he said.

"We appreciate that this case has caused concern to many people in Pakistan but want to make clear that the British government has at all times acted within U.K. law and in accordance with our duty to protect the safety of the public," Wilkes said.

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Online News (Pakistan) : Two Pakistanis To Be Released From UK Immigration Detention

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two Pakistanis To Be Released From UK Immigration Detention

July 17, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistanis who were detained by the British Authorities on April 8, 2009 under the Terrorism Act would be released.

11 Pakistani students were arrested on April 8 on suspicion of being involved in hatching terrorist plots in the UK. The British High Commission spokesperson, Jennifer Wilkes said Friday, "I can confirm that two individuals of Pakistani nationality arrested under the Terrorism Act in the UK on 8 April 2009 are being released from immigration detention where they had been held pending deportation on national security grounds.

This has clearly been a difficult time for these individuals, which we regret. It was however necessary, given the reason, to carry out a rigorous investigation. Those detained were given the full protection of UK law throughout their detention. An independent judge approved their continued detention at a hearing in May. Their case has been kept under constant review, and as soon as it became clear that these individuals did not meet the criteria for deportation, the decision was taken to drop deportation proceedings.

We appreciate that this case has caused concern to many people in Pakistan but want to make clear that the British Government has at all times acted within UK law and in accordance with our duty to protect the safety of the public", she said.

Nine out of these 11 men were released on April 22, 2009 after their remand expired and no charges were proven against them. Two continued to remain in custody, which have now been released.

Manchester Evening News : Terror raids men freed

Friday, July 17, 2009

Terror raids men freed

July 17, 2009

A MAN from Manchester and one from Liverpool who the Home Office claimed were a threat to national security have been released from custody without charge.

Sultan Sher and Janus Khan were among 12 men held during raids in the north west of England in April amid an alleged terrorism plot.

The pair, who are in their mid 20s, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport them.

But the "threat to national security" allegation has been dropped, a solicitor for one of the men said.

Groundless

Mohammed Ayub said the pair now have to wear an electronic tag and report to police, while the government seeks to deport them to Pakistan for "visa irregularities".

Mr Ayub said the terrorism allegations against his client are "groundless" and he will oppose the continuing attempts to deport him.

He said: "It beggars belief that the Secretary of State could behave like this. Why was my client held in custody for all this time?

"I wish to state my client is entitled to an unreserved apology and no further action should be taken against him."

Of the remaining men held during the raid, one has joint British and Pakistani citizenship and has been released.

A Home Office spokesman said of the two released men: "These individuals no longer meet the required criteria for detention on the grounds of national security.

"They are currently detained pending removal on immigration grounds but legally we cannot hold them indefinitely."

BBC : Two terror suspects to be freed

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two terror suspects to be freed

July 17, 2009

Two Pakistani students arrested in north west England in April accused of being part of an alleged terror plot are to be released.

Sultan Sher and Janus Khan were never charged but were due to be deported on the grounds of national security.

Seven of the 12 men who were arrested remain in custody awaiting deportation.

Mr Sher's solicitor called for an independent inquiry, saying his arrest and detention had been a "very serious" breach of human rights.

The released pair will be required to wear electronic tags as the Home Office still wants to deport them due to visa irregularities, the BBC understands.

Twelve students were arrested in the terror raids in Manchester and Liverpool, with three subsequently released.

'Robust measures'

The rest were put in prison pending deportation on the grounds of national security and their case, involving secret evidence they have not seen, is due back in court on 27 July.

The Home Office said it was not allowed to detain the men indefinitely.

"These individuals no longer meet the required criteria for detention on the grounds of national security. They are currently detained pending removal, but legally we cannot hold them indefinitely.

"We are therefore putting in place suitable and robust measures to ensure we are fully aware of their whereabouts as we progress their cases for removal."

Mohammed Ayub, solicitor for Sultan Sher, said the men had maintained they were not extremists or terrorists.

"Our clients were originally arrested in a blaze of publicity at gunpoint by the police. They were interviewed for 13 days and released into immigration detention without any criminal charges brought against them," he said.

"Our clients' plea of innocence is confirmed by the decision of the Home Office to firstly withdraw the intention to deport one of our clients on the grounds of national security and secondly to release him shortly.

"We believe that our original call for an independent inquiry into Operation Pathway has now been strengthened.

"We are of the opinion that lessons should be learnt as to how this investigation could have got it so terribly wrong and so that no other innocent person should have to suffer the ordeal that our clients have."