Yahya Rashid (pictured), 23, was detained in north London yesterday on suspicion of breaching notification conditions under the Counter Terrorism Act
Police have arrested a second convicted terrorist just hours after Boris Johnson ordered a crackdown on 74 jihadists who have been released early from prison.
Yahya Rashid, 23, was detained in north London yesterday on suspicion of breaching notification conditions under the Counter Terrorism Act.
Today he was charged with failing to inform police of a phone number and email address and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon.
Rashid was jailed in 2015 as a 19-year-old after using his student loan to pay for himself and four friends to fly out and join ISIS in Syria.
His arrest comes after an Islamist jailed in 2012 alongside London Bridge attacker Usman Khan was dramatically held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity.
Nazam Hussain, 34, was detained hours after the Prime Minister announced a review into the licence conditions of 74 convicted terrorists who are now out of jail.
The force confirmed Rashid’s latest arrest ‘was not linked in any way to the London Bridge terror attack’ and that the inquiry was under way before Friday’s atrocity.
Under the Counter Terrorism Act, those convicted of certain offences must agree to notify the police of any change in details or plans to travel abroad.
Rashid used a forged BTEC certificate to gain a place at Middlesex University despite having an IQ of between 65 and 70 – below the average of between 85 and 115.
Rashid (pictured at Gatwick Airport) was jailed in 2015 as a 19-year-old after using his student loan to pay for himself and four friends to fly out and join ISIS in Syria
The force confirmed Rashid’s latest arrest ‘was not linked in any way to the London Bridge terror attack’ and that the inquiry was under way before Friday’s atrocity
Sunday’s arrest comes after the death of London Bridge killer Usman Khan (left) and the arrest of his former conspirator Nazam Hussain (right)
He then used a loan and educational grants to claim to take four friends from his mosque with him to the Turkey-Syria border via Morocco.
While Rashid’s friends crossed into Syria, the teenager, then only 18, remained in Turkey after talking to his father. He then returned to the UK and was arrested.
Rashid was convicted of engaging in conduct in preparation for committing an act of terrorism, and engaging in conduct with the intention of assisting others to commit acts of terrorism.
Hussain was originally jailed in 2012 as part of a terror cell which plotted to attack the London Stock Exchange and other high-profile targets in the City of London.
His arrest means new offences were allegedly discovered within hours of the review being demanded – raising serious questions about how convicted terrorists are supervised after being freed from jail.
The police move came two days after Khan, 28, murdered two people at a prisoner rehabilitation conference less than a year after being released from prison.
His second victim was yesterday named as former Cambridge University student Saskia Jones, 23, who had recently applied to join the police.
On Sunday evening, police were seen doing a last minute search by torchlight of London Bridge before reopening it.
She had been volunteering at the conference at Fishmongers’ Hall, near London Bridge, when Khan began his rampage on Friday afternoon
Khan, 28, was shot dead by armed police after killing two people during a terror attack on London Bridge on Friday
Khan’s second victim was yesterday named as former Cambridge University student Saskia Jones (left and right), 23, who had recently applied to join the police
Miss Jones’ family paid tribute to her ‘funny, kind, positive influence’ and said she was ‘generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people’.
Specialist officers from the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit arrested Hussain in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday.
Sources confirmed he was being held ‘on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts’.
He is believed to have been freed from jail less than a year ago, at roughly the same time as Khan. In other developments it emerged that:
- Khan – who schoolfriends said used to carry a photo of Osama bin Laden – was poised to begin a course at Cambridge University;
He’ll end up in hell, says his Imam
The Imam of the mosque where London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan worshipped as a child yesterday condemned the attack.
Abdul Qadir Hashmi said his actions ‘cannot be justified under any circumstances’ and according to his religion the killer would ‘end up in hell’.
Khan grew up in the Cobridge area of Stoke-on-Trent and attended the Ghausia Mosque, before he left home in his late teens.
Imam Hashmi said the community’s thoughts were with the victims. He said: ‘My prayers are with the victims and relatives of those who were killed. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victims of this terrible act.
‘As Imam, I condemn any killing of innocent human beings. The religion I practice day in day out has no connection with those who choose to kill innocent people. The actions of this young man are wrong and cannot be justified under any circumstances. The Koran is clear, anyone who kills anyone else unjustly will end up in hell, no two ways about it.’
Police continued to search the home where Khan’s parents live yesterday and the Imam also said his thoughts were with the killer’s family. ‘The parents are as helpless as anyone else because they had no control over their child’s actions,’ he said.
- The authorities forced him to be accompanied by an escort on a previous trip to London in March but this time he was allowed to travel to the capital alone by train;
- The killer had been seen driving a taxi in his home town of Stoke-on-Trent;
- Britain’s most notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary claimed Khan and Hussain were ‘entirely innocent’ when they were jailed for the Stock Exchange plot in 2012.
Mr Johnson yesterday pledged to toughen anti-terror laws and said it was ‘repulsive’ that someone as dangerous as Khan had served only eight years behind bars after plotting to carry out acts of terrorism.
The Prime Minister told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘I think it is ridiculous, I think it is repulsive, that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that’s why we are going to change the law.’
He blamed Labour for changing to the law in 2008 so offenders serving Khan’s type of jail term were automatically released without a parole hearing after serving half of it.
‘I’m sure people can imagine what we’re doing to ensure that 74 other individuals who’ve been let out early on the basis of this Labour change in legislation, they are being properly invigilated to make sure there is no threat,’ the Prime Minister said.
Ministry of Justice officials are understood to be going through emails and phone records to ensure that licensing conditions are being met, as reported by The Telegraph.
Mr Corbyn argued that cuts to public services had contributed to the attack on Friday.
Khan was on licence and wearing a GPS monitoring tag when he attended the conference on prisoner rehabilitation hosted by a Cambridge University scheme called Learning Together at Fishmongers’ Hall.
The other person killed was Jack Merritt, 25, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, who worked in the university’s criminology department.
His grieving family said he was a ‘beautiful, talented boy’ who died ‘doing what he loved’. Floral tributes were placed at the scene in memory of Mr Merritt yesterday, including a sign which read: ‘I love you forever. I am so so proud of you.’
Her fellow Cambridge graduate Jack Merritt (pictured) was a coordinator at the event on Friday
Both the victims were killed inside the building before Khan was bundled outside where he was overpowered by members of the public and then shot dead by police.
Two other victims remain in a stable condition in hospital. A third has been allowed home.
Khan had applied for a ‘continuing education’ course at Cambridge University and was due to begin studying there within weeks.
Security services are analysing all the electronic devices seized from his address in Stafford to work out how long he had been planning the attack and whether anyone else was involved.
One Whitehall source said: ‘It is still quite a puzzle as to how someone who appeared to be a reformed character decided to do this.’
Khan was among the 3,000 terrorists being monitored by the security services, but he was not under round-the-clock surveillance, it is understood.
To have monitored him any more closely would have taken resources away from someone known to be planning an attack, sources said.
Khan and Hussain are both thought have been disciples of hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
They had both planned to travel to Pakistan in January 2011, but were arrested shortly before leaving.