LONDON, Nov 7 – A Somali-born terror suspect who escaped the surveillance of British authorities by donning a burqa was suing the government for alleged torture before he fled, it emerged on Thursday.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed cut off his electronic tag and slipped out of a London mosque wearing the woman’s garment last Friday. Anti-terror police have now launched a manhunt.
The 27-year-old, who is believed to have fought for Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants, is seeking damages from the government over claims he was tortured in Somaliland in 2011, London’s High Court heard.
He and another man, referred to as “CF”, allege that British authorities were complicit in their torture by authorities in Somaliland, a breakaway region to the north of Somalia.
Mohamed was referred to in court papers only as “MA” but his anonymity was lifted following his disappearance.
The suspect, who was subject to an order restricting his movements, is not believed to pose a “direct threat” to Britain, interior minister Theresa May said on Friday.
But he is understood to have links to the Shebab, who launched the attack on a Nairobi shopping mall in September in which at least 67 people were killed.
Mohamed is believed to have attended a training camp in 2008 and to have helped people travel to Britain from Somalia to allow them to engage in terror-related activity.
He is also thought to have procured weapons for terror use.
Mohamed was under a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) notice, which was imposed primarily to prevent overseas travel.
He is the second person to breach such an order since Prime Minister David Cameron’s government introduced them to replace control orders in early 2012.
Another suspect, Ibrahim Magag, tore off his electronic tag and vanished in a taxi last December. He has not been seen since.