Ibrahim Magag ‘escaped from police surveillance by jumping into black cab.

Published on January 8, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

Ibrahim Magag, 28, absconded from a terrorism prevention and investigation measure notice

Missing terror suspect Ibrahim Magag is believed to have escaped from police surveillance by simply jumping in a black cab, it has emerged.

The Somali-born radical has been on the run since removing his electronic tag on Boxing Day.

Police believe he jumped into the taxi at 5.20pm near his north London home and he has not been seen since.

The revelation emerged in an emergency Commons debate on Magag’s disappearance this afternoon.

Cabwise, a trade news service for London cabbies, reported on Monday that he “used a London taxi in the vicinity of Osnaburgh Street and Triton Street, NW1, at around 17:20 hours on Wednesday 26 December”.

In a tweet, the Cab trade body added: “Anyone who sees this man or knows of his whereabouts should not approach him, but call 999 immediately.”

Scotland Yard have taken the allegations seriously, talking with taxi drivers at King Cross and Euston Railway Stations in an attempt to identify the driver, they confirmed.

According to the police the taxi was “a classic shaped London taxi – not a Mercedes Vito – which had its fog lights on”.

Labour said the revelation proved that Home Secretary Theresa May’s decision to axe the previous control order regime for terror suspects had put the public at risk.

Earlier this week, The Daily Mirror revealed how Magag – who is linked to the al-Shabaab terror group which controls much of Somalia and is affiliated to al-Qaeda – was free to regularly mix with Islamic extremists while he was under surveillance.

Magag’s friends say he spent the past year attending prayers at a mosque which is popular with radical students.

His disappearance has sparked anger and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper demanded to know how he escaped from his Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures notice – the government’s anti-terror devices which have been dubbed TPIMs.

She said: “Ibrahim Magag is still missing – 13 days after he absconded. It is clear the Home Secretary has no idea where he is.

“How was he able to abscond in the first place? Was he under surveillance at all at the time?

“Cabwise, a trade news service for London cabbies, reported yesterday that Magag ‘used a London taxi in the vicinity of Triton Street at around 17:20 on 26 December’.

“Is that true? Is she worried that the surveillance can be shaken off by jumping in a black cab?

“The Home Secretary allowed Ibrahim Magag to return to London.”

Magag, 28, was previously kicked out of London by police, using Labour’s control order regime which allowed terror suspects to be sent into “internal exile” if they were considered a threat.

After Mrs May scrapped this power Magag returned to the capital. Police were alerted on Boxing Day when Magag failed to return home.

Counter Terror officers launched an immediate inquiry into his disappearance.

Police described him as “a black man of Somali origin, 6ft 2ins tall, of slim to medium build, with a beard, although it is possible that he may try to change his appearance”.

Scotland Yard added: “The last possible sighting of Ibrahim Magag was in the Camden area [of London] at 17:20hrs on Wednesday 26 December.

“He was wearing a black Berghaus windcheater and navy Converse trainers.”

Mrs May has insisted he is not considered “a direct threat to the British public”.

But she was sufficiently alarmed to lift his anonymity order – which had been imposed by a court – on New Year’s Eve to allow a public appeal.

Labour’s Ms Cooper said questioned Mrs May’s assurance that he did not pose a threat to the public.

The Labour frontbencher said: “She suggested yesterday the risk was simply ‘fundraising and overseas travel’.

“Yet the courts have quoted evidence that he attended terrorist training camps in Somalia, was fundraising for known terrorists.”

Ms Cooper added that the courts said extremists based in London would be boosted by his freedom.

Police advice says anyone who sees Magag, or knows of his whereabouts, should not approach him, but call 999 immediately.

If anyone has other information which they think could be relevant to police efforts to trace the man they should contact the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Home Secretary Mrs May defended the government’s Tpim orders, which she introduced as a replacement for Labour’s control orders.

She said terror suspects had absconded before under the old restriction – several of whom were never found.

The Home Secretary 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.”

Meanwhile, Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, questioned whether Magag had his passport with him when he fled.

He said it had been alleged that Magag was forging passports while at the camp he attended in Somalia.

Mr Vaz asked: “Can you confirm that the police had his passport so he is not able to travel abroad?”

Mrs May refused to publicly comment on Magag’s passport, but later said she would take advice and may write to MPs on the matter.

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