London

Terror suspect Abu Rumaysah leaves UK despite ban

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Media captionAbu Rumaysah left London two days after he was released on bail

A terrorism suspect has skipped bail and is thought to be in Syria, despite being banned him from leaving the UK.

BBC London has learnt that Siddhartha Dhar, a convert to Islam also known as Abu Rumaysah, was told to hand in his passport but instead left London on a coach bound for mainland Europe.

It is believed the father of four is now living under the Islamic State.

The Met Police's counter-terrorism command says it is working to establish where he is.

He was arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorism on 25 September as part of an investigation into the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun.

Mr Rumaysah has close links to radical preacher Anjem Choudhary, who was head of al-Muhajiroun.

The two men were arrested along with eight others.

But BBC London's home affairs correspondent Guy Smith has learnt that two days later the 31-year-old took a coach from Victoria Station to Paris, from where he is believed to have travelled on to Syria.

'Shocked'

Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said he had concerns about how a man suspected of such serious offences could just leave the country.

"I am shocked and disappointed that this has occurred," he said.

"Evidence of Mr Rumaysah's statements at various times show that he wanted to leave the country, that he was at risk of leaving the country and that he wanted to join Isil [IS].

"So one would have hoped that the authorities were aware of that."

One such time when Mr Rumaysah publicly expressed his views was on the BBC's Sunday Morning Live programme, before he was arrested.

Then he said: "Now that we have this caliphate [Islamic state] I think you'll see many Muslims globally seeing it as an opportunity for the Koran to be realised."

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has said that an estimated 500 British people are fighting for IS in Syria and Iraq.

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