Telegraph : Pakistani men 'part of al-Qaeda network planning attacks in Britain'

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pakistani men 'part of al-Qaeda network planning attacks in Britain'

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent | May 12, 2009

Ten Pakistani men released without charge after an investigation into an alleged plot to bomb shopping centres in Manchester were part of an al-Qaeda network planning attacks in Britain and should be deported, a tribunal has heard.

The men were arrested on April 8 after former Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick entered Downing Street with details of the operation against the men visible under his arm.

None of the men were charged with any crime but the government launched an attempt to have the men deported.

Their lawyers are objecting to the deportation orders, arguing that they should be freed to continue their studies.

Robin Tam QC for the Home Secretary told the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in London: "All the applicants were members of a UK based network linked to al-Qaeda involved in attack planning.

"Each therefore poses a risk to national security and deportation would be considered in the national good."

Mr Tam said there was a "high risk they would re-engage in their former activity to the detriment of national security" and there was a risk they would abscond if granted bail.

All the group were "young single men with no close family ties to the UK and each claims to have been a student", Mr Tam added.

Three of the men, Abdul Wahab Khan, Shoaib Khan and Tariq ur-Rehman, waived their rights to anonymity at the hearing.

The SIAC panel considered evidence behind closed doors before refusing bail for the three named men, along with a fourth, "XC."

Sibghat Kadri QC for Abdul Wahab Khan, 26, said the Pakistani High Commissioner in London had claimed the operation against the men was a "hoax" and added: "Other than what he was told upon arrest, that he was suspected to be a terrorist, he has never been informed of the substance of any allegations against him.

"During various interviews he was subjected to intensive interrogation. He was asked mostly about his association with friends, going to the mosque, meeting various friends and taking photographs."

He added that despite the police seizing computers, a TV and clothing which were subjected to forensic examination, "not a shred of evidence was found."

He added: "This case does not involve the liberty of the applicant but the wider question of trust that the community can repose in the security services in a multi-racial society and the subsequent faith in the Secretary of State to make a decision based on justice rather than fear of political failure."

The Nation (Pakistan) : Pak students denied bail

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pak students denied bail

By: Asif Mehmood | May 13, 2009

LONDON - A British court on Tuesday rejected the bail applications of four Pakistani students currently detained at Manchester prison for deportation on national security grounds.

Abdul Wahab Khan, Shoaib Khan, Tariq-ur-Rehman and Abid Naseer were arrested in bungled operation PATHWAY on April 8 on suspicion of their involvement in a “terror plot”.

The Barrister of students, Sibghat Ullah Qadri QC in the Special Immigration Appeal Commission of the Royal court argued that National security should not be invoked in this case because no criminal charges were pressed by the crown prosecution service after 13 days of rigorous interrogation.

The Lawyer further argued that chief constable of Greater Manchester police Peter Fahy confirmed in a Press statement that these students are innocent until proven guilty and free to walk away.

Barrister Qadri and solicitor advocate Amjad Malik argued that commission should look at the secret evidence provided by MI5 and MI6 with great caution as there assessment has proven faulty here and abroad in cases of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and forest gate terror arrests.

It was further submitted to the court that Justice should be seen to be done as it is pivotal for British justice system to gain the confidence of Muslim and minority communities for the sake of national harmony and good race relations which has a direct impact on the national security of the UK.

Barrister Ms Harrison representing one student Abid Nasir said that the Secretary of State does not have clear indication that these boys can be sent back to Pakistan without fear of torture, therefore, power to make a deportation order is an administrative abuse of power.

George Brown and John Nicholson representing Tariq-ur-Rehman and Shoaib Khan said that their clients are lawful entrants and have the right to bail.

Earlier Robin Tam QC, arguing on behalf of the British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, opposed the bail for all four Pakistani students on the premise that no restriction can stop them from continuing unlawful activities and they, if released, will continue to be part of Al-Qaeda’s London-based network. He assured the court that talks are under way with Pakistani authorities to seek assurances that these students will not be tortured upon return.

Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Daly of the Special Immigration Appeal Commission, while refusing the bail application, said the court has further directed the Secretary of State to produce open and secret evidence by July 6, 2009.

The next hearing of these appeals will be on July 27 at the Royal Courts of Justice.