Click Liverpool : Liverpool terror suspects denied bail

Monday, August 17, 2009

Liverpool terror suspects denied bail

by Simon Boyle | August 17, 2009

Five suspects accused of terrorism in the North-West have had their applications for bail denied.

The suspects were arrested in April, after emails detailing an al-Qaida bomb plot on addresses in Liverpool and the North-West were intercepted by police.

The 12 men - 11 from Pakistan and one Briton - were arrested during raids on their homes by Special Branch police officers. All but the Briton were then placed in the custody of the UK Border Agency.

The arrests came as part of Operation Pathway, with raids taking place at Toxteth, Wavertree, Edge Hill, and Liverpool's John Moore's University, but none of the suspects were ever charged with a criminal offence.

Seven of the accused are now fighting government attempts to deport them, while five - including two from Liverpool - have applied for bail.

However, all five bail requests have been declined by High Court Judge Mr Justice Mittings, who said that a series of emails between the suspects and a known al-Qaida associate remained central to an ongoing investigation.

Defending one of the unnamed accused, Richard Hermer, QC, told a hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), that the police interpretation of the emails sent between suspects was "far-fetched", and in fact were no more than "innocent social discussions".

But Mr Justice Mitting disputed this claim, saying that a final assessment would have to wait until the next SIAC hearing takes place next year. He said; "On the information, open and closed, which we have now, we are not satisfied that the assessment by the security service of their likely meaning is clearly wrong."

Just two of the suspects, Abdul Khan, 26, and Shoaib Khan, 27, who are both students from Liverpool, have declined their right to anonymity.