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Friday, June 22, 2007 

Scum-watch: Standing in the way of control.

(Note: This was written on Friday but is only being posted now (Saturday: 16:05) because my modem decided to die)

After spending most of the week whining witlessly about how Blair and Brown are going to sell our sovereignty to the bureaucrats in Brussels yet again, the Sun's leader today takes aim at control orders instead. To start with though, here's their article on the 7th man to disappear:

AN al-Qaeda terror suspect was on the run in Britain last night after vanishing while on a control order.

Is there absolutely any evidence whatsoever that this man was in any way linked to al-Qaida? Err, no. The evidence against him was so damning that he was released without charge in 2005 after being arrested along with five others under the Terrorism Act. It was only after he and the others were passed on to immigration that all were placed under control orders.

The suspect came to the UK as an asylum seeker but was one of six Iraqis allegedly plotting bomb attacks.


The unnamed suspect was linked to Osama Bin Laden’s Iraqi henchman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — killed last June.

Firstly, al-Zarqawi was very much his own man and only probably pledged allegiance to bin Laden, if he even did that, so that the could take on the "al-Qaida" brand. He was also Jordanian, not Iraqi, to nitpick even more. As previously stated, if there had been any solid evidence that they had been plotting bomb attacks, they'd have been charged. Instead it seems that yet again the intelligence against them was of the variety that was either too vague, slight or inadmissible without changes that the government still appears to be holding out against.

The suspect had been on the order since November 2005 before scarpering on Monday. He was tagged and had a 14-hour curfew and travel restrictions.

Tighter controls had been overturned by judges in June last year — on human rights grounds.

The orders were actually quashed by Mr Justice Sullivan, not by judges. He had previously been on an 18-hour curfew.

And yesterday police minister Tony McNulty said human rights had left cops hamstrung in dealing with terror suspects.

This is nonsense, because the control orders are issued by the Home Office, not the police. The police have more than enough powers to deal with "terrorist suspects", it seems that in the case of these men that the evidence wasn't there.

Control orders were introduced in 2005 to counter objections to jailing terror suspects without trial.

By objections the Sun means the 8-1 verdict of the law lords who rightly ruled that indefinite detention without charge was a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.

None of the fugitives have been found. Mr McNulty said Labour are considering a Human Rights bill opt-out to allow stricter restrictions.

Probably because they're thought to have left the country, at least according to the Grauniad.

Anyway, to the leader:

YET another terror suspect has done a runner while under useless “control orders”.

That means seven out of 17 potential suicide bombers are now on the loose.

This is more errant nonsense. Some of them might have wanted to be suicide bombers, but the simple fact is that we don't know what most are accused of doing or wanting to do, and neither do they themselves. The BBC recently posted a diary of one of those on a control order who escaped from a mental hospital after he had been sectioned, and while it's full of the typical jihadi thinking, there's nothing in it to suggest he was interested in becoming a suicide bomber, or even where his initial training was leading. Mental ill-health is unsurprisingly a running theme among those being held with little definite details of why. One man previously being held under a control order (I don't know whether he still is) was Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh, who had repeatedly self-harmed and attempted suicide while being held in custody, whom even the police admitted was no danger to anyone except himself. This isn't to suggest that these aren't dangerous men; some of them undoubtedly are, but to suggest that they're all potential suicide bombers is just disingenuous garbage.

These are not misguided youths who fell into bad company.

They were supporters of Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Zarqawi who allegedly sent them to Britain to carry out terror attacks.

See above passim ad nauseum.

Yet they have been allowed to disappear because judges rate their human rights as superior to our national safety.

They refused to put them behind bars where they belong.

Ah yes, it's all the fault of the judges, isn't it? As Mr Justice Sullivan pointed out when he declared the control order on this man illegal, John Reid himself said that the courts could quash the orders, then when they did he fiercely objected. The real fault lies with the government that refuses to respect our international conventions and which has comprehensively declined to legislate so that the evidence held against these men can be actually used against them in the courts, rather than arbitrarily imposing both ineffective and illiberal orders. Their human rights are not superior to our national safety; judges did not refuse to have them behind bars, as their decision was not binding. The government could have ignored it, but instead came up with yet another flawed proposal. Their human rights are the same rights that every single one of us enjoys, seeing as any one of us could be in their position. The talk of suspects not deserving rights is dangerous talk which is giving in to those who threaten us rather than holding up our values in the face of their barbarism.

Instead they were free to come and go, monitored only by futile electronic tags.

Which is rather the point here. For this man to have gone missing, he presumably would have had to remove his tag, which would have set off an alarm. This is as much the fault of putting faith in these piss-poor private monitoring firms as it is anything else.

The truth is that ministers are scared of offending libertarians who would rather put fellow citizens at risk than lock up someone who would blow us to pieces.

Obviously, because this government hasn't spent the last 10 years offending libertarians of every stripe. The rule of law, habeas corpus, the right to be innocent until proved guilty mean nothing to Rebekah Wade, Rupert Murdoch and their minions.

We can only pray they do not use their illicit freedom to do just that.

Or that if they do that they target Wapping.

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