Usman Khan's 2012 accomplice bomb plotter arrested after review of terrorists on licence

Monday 2nd December 2019 14:00 GMT

Nazam Hussain, 34, was detained on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts after a search of his home address, following a review of terrorists released on licence in the wake of the London Bridge attack.

It comes after Khan killed two people and injured three others in a knife attack at London Bridge on Friday.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said there was "no information to suggest" the arrest was linked to the London Bridge attack and "no immediate risk to public safety".

A second person arrested on Sunday in north London as part of a counter-terror investigation has now been charged.

Yayha Rashid, 23, is accused of failing, without reasonable excuse, to notify police of relevant contact details and is due to appear in court later.

Police have said the case is unconnected to Friday's attack.

Hussain and Khan, both from Stoke-on-Trent, were originally given indeterminate sentences with a minimum term of eight years behind bars after being convicted of terrorist offences in 2012.

But they successfully appealed against their sentences in 2013 and were given fixed terms instead.

They were both released on licence in December last year.

The force said the search warrant was executed on Saturday "in connection to a wider ongoing review of existing licence conditions of convicted terrorism offenders".

As part of the investigation into the London Bridge attack, police have been searching a property in Stoke, where Khan had been based, and a block of flats in Stafford, where he is believed to have stayed.

The 28-year-old had been wearing an electronic tag when he launched his attack after being released halfway through his 16-year prison sentence over the London Stock Exchange bomb plot.

He was tackled by several members of the public - including ex-offenders and an off-duty policeman - before he was shot dead by officers on London Bridge.

It has prompted the Ministry of Justice to review the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist released from prison.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the review applies to "probably about 74" people and he found it "repulsive" that terrorists like Khan could be released from prison after serving eight years.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told Sky News that convicted terrorists should "not necessarily" automatically serve their full prison sentences.

Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge, Mr Corbyn said there were lessons to be learned from the London Bridge attack and there should be a "full investigation" into the circumstances around Khan's prison sentence and subsequent release.

Mr Corbyn said police "had no choice" but to shoot Khan dead as they were "stuck with a situation where there was a credible threat of a bomb belt around his body". Police confirmed after the incident that the device was a hoax.

It has been reported that Khan, who was a student and personal friend of the Islamist extremist Anjem Choudary, was given permission to travel into central London on Friday by police and the probation service.

Khan had also been allowed to travel to Whitehall earlier in the year.

The family of Jack Merritt, one of the two Cambridge University graduates killed in Friday's attack, urged politicians not to enforce "draconian" sentences in the wake of the incident.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Mr Merritt's family said: "We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary."

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