UK

Terror suspect in control order appeal

High Court
Image caption The control order restricts CD's freedom and bans him from London

A terror suspect appealing against a control order was trained in Syria from where he plotted a terror attack on the UK, the High Court has heard.

The home secretary is asking the judge to uphold her decision to impose the control order on a man known as CD.

But a senior Home Office official confirmed Theresa May was acting on "incomplete information" when she imposed the order in February.

CD, who has UK-Nigerian nationality, denies being involved in terrorism.

The control order restricts CD's freedom and bans him from London.

Lawyers for the home secretary claim that CD intends to carry out attacks, "most likely in London and potentially using firearms".

The court heard that CD is alleged to be "a leading figure in a group of Islamists based in North London".

Terror camp

An MI5 officer, testifying behind a curtain to protect his anonymity, confirmed that CD lived in Syria for three years where he received "extremist training" but he said he could not divulge in open court where, when, or what form this took.

The officer also said that in 2004 CD was "strongly assessed" by the security service to have been at a terror training camping in Cumbria.

Written statements put before the judge, Mr Justice Owen, show that also at the camp were four men who attempted unsuccessfully to set off rucksack bombs on the London Underground on 21 July 2005.

The MI5 officer confirmed that after CD arrived back in the UK from Syria he was assessed to have tried to buy firearms from criminal associates.

Under cross-examination he confirmed that one of those associates was jailed in October 2010, a fact which was not disclosed to CD's legal team for nine months. The MI5 officer said he was "not aware" when the home secretary was told.

John Burton QC asked: "Was it ever disclosed to the home secretary that this individual is in custody?"

The officer replied: "I think it could, should be but I'm not aware whether it has been."

'Flawed assessments'

Court papers show that the control order was imposed to "restrict CD's ability to meet with his associates TM and MS in order to further the group's attack plans, his ability to procure firearms and his ability to carry out an attack in this country."

But lawyers for CD say the security assessments are flawed.

Under cross-examination Home Office official Susan Hadland confirmed that MS had moved from London to Lancashire before the control order on CD was imposed.

Mr Burton asked: "An important part of this control order is to disrupt the wider network. Is that right?"

"Yes", said Susan Hadland, but she added that she was "unable to confirm" whether the home secretary knew that MS had moved out of London.

Earlier the court heard how CD, MS and TM were arrested in January but none was charged. The CPS concluded there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

The appeal continues.

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