A Somali-born man who escaped from special police surveillance by disguising himself in a burqa has exposed shortcomings in the way UK handles terrorism suspects,prompting an embarrassed government to announce a review.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed,who is suspected of having links with Somali Islamist group al Shabaab,gave authorities the slip last Friday by donning the full-length womans religious garment while attending prayers at a London mosque.
It was the second time a terrorism suspect has absconded in the past 10 months and the main opposition Labour Party blamed new government rules which it said made it easier for such people to evade surveillance.
There will of course be a review… and any lessons that need to be learned will be, Theresa May,the Home Secretary (interior minister),told parliament. A number of operational issues will be looked at, she said.
Mohamed,a British citizen,had to wear an electronic tag so that the authorities could track his whereabouts and was subject to other forms of surveillance as well as restrictions such as curfews and regular home searches.
May said Mohamed,27,had been subject to such measures to stop him travelling abroad to support terrorism.
Local media have reported that he had trained and fought with al Shabaab. May neither confirmed nor denied those reports when lawmakers raised them.
Police have launched a manhunt,though the government has said he does not pose a direct threat to the public,while warning anyone who sees him not to approach him.