A convicted terror boss and a friend of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi has been told he can bid for freedom.
Rochdale-born Abdalraouf Abdallah is expected to go before the Parole Board in November and could be back on the streets in the New Year.
The fanatic was jailed in 2016 after being found guilty of helping people travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.
He was released on license in November 2020, but returned to jail a few months later for breaching strict conditions requiring good behaviour.
Abdallah, now 29, was staying at an approved premises at the time and the rule breaches were not terror related.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: ‘We can confirm the parole review of Abdalraouf Abdallah has been referred to the Parole Board by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard processes.
‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.
Abdalraouf Abdallah (pictured), 29, received a nine-and-a-half-year extended determinate sentence in 2016 after being convicted of committing acts of terrorism, by facilitating travel and raising money to enable various others to participate in the civil war in Syria
‘A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.
‘Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing.
‘Evidence from witnesses such as probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements may be given at the hearing.
‘It is standard for the prisoner and witnesses to be questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’
Abdallah received a nine-and-a-half-year extended determinate sentence in 2016 after being convicted of committing acts of terrorism, by facilitating travel and raising money to enable various others to participate in the civil war in Syria.
The terrorist was paralysed from the waist down while fighting in the Libyan revolution of 2011.
Abdallah, who was jailed in 2016, was twice visited by suicide bomber Abedi (pictured) in prison prior to the attack
His trial at Woolwich Crown Court in south London heard that, from his wheelchair and mainly using a mobile phone, he arranged for the movement of money and fighters to Syria.
Max Hill QC, prosecuting, said one of Abdallah’s contacts in Brussels, known only as Obaida, was ‘facilitating the movements of terrorists across mainland Europe’.
He accused him of being ‘at the centre of a jihadist network facilitating foreign fighters … You were intent upon sending fighters to join groups in Syria who were committing terrorist acts in that country,’ he said.
When Abdallah was first arrested in 2014, his phone contained correspondence with Abedi about suicide and martyrdom, including the death of a senior al-Qaeda figure.
Abedi then visited Abdallah in prison and communicated with him on an illegally held mobile phone during the period in early 2017 when the bomb was being prepared.
The second visit came just four months before Abedi blew himself up at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017, killing 23 people including himself and injuring 1,017.
Despite his conviction, Abdallah, from Moss Side, Manchester, continues to deny he was an Islamic State recruiter.
Abedi twice visited Abdallah in prison the inquiry heard. They had discussed martyrdom and were in contact via a mobile phone smuggled into jail in the months leading up to the Manchester bombing on May 22, 2017, (pictured: Police at the scene) the inquiry has was told
A expert on radicalisation commissioned for the Manchester Arena bombing public inquiry said he believes Abdallah was responsible for ‘grooming Salman Abedi into the violent, Islamist, extremist world view’.
Abdallah has denied having any involvement in the attack or grooming Abedi, and told the inquiry he is ‘haunted’ by the atrocity.’
He was brought from HMP Wakefield to the inquiry in November last year to give evidence.
Abdallah said text exchanges with Salman Abedi – recovered in November 2014 – in which they discussed martyrdom were ‘normal chitchat’.
The witness denied radicalising the bomber, saying: ‘I don’t even have an extreme mindset myself’ and ‘I am not a groomer and I was not grooming Salman to anything’
Pete Weatherby QC, representing several bereaved families, said the prisoner’s lengthy chats with Salman Abedi were ‘about radicalisation, it was about discussing some kind of perverse death’.
New laws were introduced in February 2020 after two attacks in three months were carried out by extremists who had been freed from jail.
Now criminals with terrorism convictions must serve two-thirds of their sentence in jail, rather than one half, and their cases are reviewed by the Parole Board before release.