Terror suspect 'jumped into cab'

Ibrahim Magag absconded from a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures notice on Boxing Day

Ibrahim Magag absconded from a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures notice on Boxing Day

First published in National News © by

Missing terror suspect Ibrahim Magag escaped surveillance by simply ringing for a black cab, the shadow home secretary has claimed.

Yvette Cooper told MPs that a tweet from London taxi news service Cabwise suggested Somali-born Magag had evaded detection by picking up a ride less than half-a-mile from Euston station on Boxing Day.

In a fierce exchange with Home Secretary Theresa May, Ms Cooper said: "Are you worried that surveillance can be shaken off simply by jumping into a black cab?"

Magag, 28, who is understood to have attended terrorist training camps in Somalia, absconded from a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measure (Tpim) notice after ripping off his electronic tag.

Mrs May insisted the police and security services did not believe Magag was involved in current terrorist planning and that great efforts were being made to find him.

Magag, who is thought to have raised funds for al Qaida, was originally handed a control order and forced to live in the West Country away from his network of friends. But under the new Tpim regime, introduced last year thanks to support from the Liberal Democrats, he was able to move back to London.

Asking an urgent question in the Commons, Ms Cooper claimed Magag's escape had been made easier by the Government stopping relocation of suspected terrorists. Ms Cooper said absconds had stopped under control orders once the powers were toughened up - including greater use of relocation.

And she added: "You chose to ditch relocation, you have personally made it easier for people to abscond. Other people previously relocated under control orders are also now back in London on Tpims. Could any one of them simply jump in a black cab tomorrow and be off?"

Defending Tpims, the Home Secretary said terror suspects had absconded before while under the old restriction - several of whom were never found.

She said: "In six years of control orders, there were seven absconds and of those seven cases, six were never apprehended. Magag's abscond is serious and the authorities are doing everything they can to locate him."

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