EU membership is incompatible with the vigorous border security we need

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Offline the leveller

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Note: The sad truth is that no meaningful action will be taken in the long run  to end Muslim terrorism because (1)  there are several million Muslims now living in the UK and (2) the grip which political correctness  has on the UK  . RH
EU membership is incompatible with the vigorous border security we need
Three years ago, the British people voted to take back control of our money laws and borders. As Home Secretary, control of our borders is my responsibility.
I see the constraints EU law places on our ability to secure our border all the time. Whether it involves criminality such as smuggling of people, drugs and weapons or our inability to stop dangerous criminals coming into the country, it’s clear to me that EU membership is incompatible with the vigorous border security I and the British people want to see.
Under EU law, previous criminal convictions do not in themselves count as a reason to deny entry to, or deport someone. My powers as Home Secretary to deny entry to EU citizens who have committed serious crimes are severely limited in scope.
Ultimately it is up to a court in Luxembourg to decide whether or not dangerous criminals from the EU can make Britain their home. If we don’t get a Conservative majority government next week, this situation will continue.

Priti Patel meets with Conservative Candidates for Dudley constituencies CREDIT: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY
And all too often, we don’t even know who is coming into the country.  As EU members, we are forced to accept all EEA ID cards as proof of identity for travel at the border. These ID cards vary enormously in quality and some, especially those from Italy and Greece, are printed on paper and extremely easy to forge.

ID cards were used by ISIS terrorists behind the atrocities in Brussels and Paris to travel seamlessly across the continent three years ago. You can buy them very easily and cheaply in Albania and many do. What is so frustrating about this issue is that every European government acknowledges this is a security threat but nothing gets done about it. But even for those who come to the UK from the EU with a biometric passport, Border Force have limited data on these individuals available prior to their arrival at the border.
In future, EU citizens will require an Electronic Travel Authorisation prior to travel, much like the US ESTA system. This will improve our ability to identify and block the entry of those who present a threat to the UK.

We don’t really know how many people are in the county either. Earlier this year, the Office for National Statistics downgraded its immigration statistics to “experimental.” In other words, they don’t know how many people are coming into the country or who they are. Like me the British public have had enough of our inability to control who and what comes into our Country.

We are going to end this farce and introduce automated and accurate entrance and exit checks with all visitors required to have biometric passports. We will know how many people are in the country and who is overstaying their visa. We will be able to count in and count out.

But we can only deliver all this if people vote for a Conservative majority government on 12th December. The alternative is another hung parliament, Corbyn as Prime Minister and next year wasted on two referendums.

London Bridge attacker was poster boy for rehab scheme he targeted
London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan seen on the Learning Together website Hayley Dixon  Victoria Ward  Greg Wilford
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 9:30PM
he London Bridge attacker was heralded as a success story of the rehabilitation initiative that he went on to attack, it emerged on Sunday night.
Learning Together, a Cambridge University programme, worked with Usman Khan in prison and after his release and used him as a case study to show how they helped prisoners.
Khan even wrote a poem and a thank-you note to organisers after they provided him with a computer he could use without breaching a licence that banned him from going online.
Just months later the 28-year-old used his connection to the rehabilitation initiative to get permission to travel to London and kill two of those people who were trying to help him.

A poem by Khan contained on Learning Together literature
It is understood that Jack Merritt, one of those murdered in Khan’s rampage, had worked with him whilst he was behind bars.
Mr Merritt coordinated Learning Together’s courses at HMP’s Grendon, Warren Hill and Whitemoor – the high security prison in Cambridgeshire where Khan was serving his sentence.
In 2012, Khan, a friend of Anjem Choudhary, the hate preacher, became the youngest of a nine-strong jihadist gang jailed for planning to bomb the London Stock Exchange and targeting VIPs including Boris Johnson.

He was originally jailed indefinitely to protect the public, but this was reduced on appeal to a 16-year sentence of which he served half and was then automatically released.
It is unclear at what point during his sentence he moved from HMP Belmarsh to Whitemoor, but it is here that he became involved with academics from Cambridge, who began working at the prison in 2016.

London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan seen on the Learning Together website
The Learning Together website was apparently deleted on the night of the attack, but a cached version of its reports show HMP Whitemoor and Khan were considered a success story.
In a case study of Khan it was said that he had been “involved with Learning Together a great deal” since his release and gave a speech via a video link at the Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge and attended a discussion at his former prison.
The rehabilitation programme provided him with a computer both whilst he was behind bars and after his release “so that he can continue his studies and writing”.
The case study shows how Learning Together provided 15 Whitemoor inmates with references in the last year which were used for higher education applications and parole board hearings.
In one year 18 of “students” in the prison had their security category downgraded and reviewed, it notes.
The case study said that Khan – referred to only by his first name Usman – was due to begin a course at the Institute of Continuing Education in the coming months.

A spokesman for Cambridge said Khan had applied for a one-day course at the university but his application had never been processed as he had not paid the fees. They added that he only attended one course whilst he was a prisoner, consisting of four sessions.
Khan was released from prison in December last year on a strict set of conditions including that he wear an electronic tag, not enter London and not use the internet. But so that he could continue his writings, Learning Together members ran a sponsored 10k so he could have a computer to use at his Staffordshire bail hostel.
Learning Together said it was “proud” to be able to fund-raise to provide Khan with a “secure non-networked chromebook that he can use to study and develop his writing while complying with his licence terms”.
He sent a thank-you note saying the project had a “special place in my heart”. “Learning Together is about opening minds, unlocking doors, and giving voice to those who are shut down, hidden from the rest of us,” he wrote. “It helps to include those who are generally excluded.
“I cannot send enough thanks to the entire Learning Together team and all those who continue to support this wonderful community.”

It is not known whether he was plotting his attack whilst praising the work, but it was not the first time that Khan claimed to have been a changed man.

Seven years ago, writing from his cell, he begged for the chance to “prove” he no longer harboured extreme Islamist views or posed a threat to the public. He was considered a model prisoner and saw a probation officer twice a week after his release.
He was given permission to travel to Friday’s event after attending an earlier event in the capital under supervision. Cambridge University were on Sunday night unable to confirm whether Learning Together organised the event.
The Fishmongers Charitable Trust, which runs the Fishmongers’ Hall where Friday’s attack began, helped to build a study centre at Whitemoor in partnership with the university.
One of eight high security prisons across the country, Whitemoor houses some of the most dangerous offenders and has for many years been identified as having a problem with extremism.
Learning Together in an impact report for the prison for 2018/2019 said the partnership was “leading the way in innovation and best practice”.
It also on emerged on Saturday that Khan attended a radical mosque run by a hate preacher in Stoke-on-Trent before he was convicted of terrorism offences in 2012. He was known to visit the Tunstall Mosque, which was shut down after Kamran Hussain, its imam, was jailed for six-and-a-half years in 2017 for encouraging support for Isil.

An undercover police officer recorded Hussain telling children that “martyrdom was the supreme success” in a series of sermons in 2016.
The Tunstall Mosque was less than 500m from Khan’s home, from where he tried to raise funds to build a terrorist training camp on land his family owned in Pakistan in 2010.
A source said: “Usman was known around here [in 2010] but he was turned away from a lot of the mosques because they reject that violent ideology.”

London Bridge terror attack: Cambridge University vice chancellor defends 'extraordinary' prisoner rehab scheme attended by Usman Khan
London Bridge terrorist Usman Khan seen on the Learning Together website CREDIT: LEARNING TOGETHER

 Gareth Davies, breaking news editor
2 DECEMBER 2019 • 8:46AM
ambridge University's vice chancellor has defended the "extraordinary" prisoner rehabilitation scheme attended by the terrorist Usman Khan on the day he killed two alumni.
Former Cambridge students Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25, were fatally stabbed by 28-year-old convicted terrorist Khan during an event organised by Learning Together - a programme associated with the university's Institute of Criminology - they were both supporting.
A number of convicts were present at the event, some of whom helped tackle and disarm the terrorist on London Bridge before police shot him dead.
But in spite of Khan's deadly rampage, Cambridge's vice chancellor Professor Stephen Toope suggested there were no plans to end the scheme.
He told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme: "The plan is now to focus on the families of the victims. There's a lot of grieving, there's a lot of sadness and we're really not thinking about the future.
"But I will say that this is a programme that's been in existence for five years.
"It's done extraordinarily good work and in fact in a 2016 [government] review of prison education by Dame Sally Coates - she held it up as an example of best practice.
"Yes, this a dreadful, horrible, tragic situation, but we must put it in the context of five years of extraordinary work."
There have been questions surrounding security at the event, given terrorists and murderers were free to mingle with members of the public.
Khan is understood to have taken part in workshops on Friday morning before going on a killing spree just before 2pm.
It is thought the hoax suicide vest he was wearing when he was shot dead was strapped to his torso all day and the knives he strapped to his hands are also thought to have been brought into Fishmongers' Hall unchecked.
Prof Toope said: "Whenever there is situation where students and staff are potentially at risk we have a very detailed risk evaluation process and in this case the process involved both the Ministry of Justice and the probation service.
"So it's a very rigorous process and was carried out in this case."
Three people were taken to hospital with injuries they suffered during the terror attack, one of whom has since been released.

The vice chancellor hinted that as well as a Polish chef who helped pacify Khan by using a 5ft whale's tusk, those hospitalised were also involved with Learning Together.
He told Today that the organisers were present at Fishmongers' Hall, and added: "Of course they [organisers] are absolutely devastated by what's happened. 
"They're deeply sad, they knew both Jack and Saskia well, worked with them closely, admired them deeply, and there are also victims in hospital."
Vigil to honour victims and emergency services
A vigil will be held on Monday to pay tribute to the victims of the London Bridge terror attack and to honour the emergency services and members of the public who responded to the incident.
The remembrance service at Guildhall Yard comes as West Midlands Police said a 34-year-old man arrested in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts has been recalled to prison due to a suspected breach of his licence conditions.
The family of one of Khan's victims Mr Merritt, from Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, issued a heartfelt tribute released on Sunday.
They said: "He lit up our lives and the lives of his many friends and colleagues, and we will miss him terribly.
"Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.
"We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary."
Miss Jones, a volunteer with Learning Together from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was described as having a "great passion" for providing support to victims of crime by her family.
In a statement, they said: "She was intent on living life to the full and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be.
"Saskia had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment programme, wishing to specialise in victim support."


Who was Usman Khan? The attacker who hoodwinked authorities to fulfil his terrorism dream of targeting London
Khan’s letter pleading to join a Home Office “deradicalisation course” was the start of his plan to hoodwink the British authorities
 Martin Evans, crime correspondent
Steve Bird
Greg Wilford
30 NOVEMBER 2019 • 9:00PM
hen Usman Khan put pen to paper from his cell at Belmarsh Prison seven years ago, he begged for the chance to “prove” he no longer harboured extremist Islamic views or posed a threat to the British public.
Insisting his conviction for being part of a terror cell that planned to bomb the London Stock Exchange stemmed from mere immaturity, he added: “Now I am much more mature and want to live my life as a good Muslim and also a good citizen of Britain.”
Khan’s letter pleading to join a Home Office “deradicalisation course” was the start of his plan to hoodwink the British authorities and ultimately commit terrorism on the streets of London.
A year earlier, the judge who sentenced him to a technically limitless jail term had no doubt Khan had embarked on a “serious, long term, venture in terrorism”.
In his sentencing notes, Mr Justice Wilkie singled him out from other extremists on trial because he was clearly a devious and scheming man dedicated to his hateful ideology.

He wrote that Khan’s “ability to act on a strategic level and to consider the long term at the price of eschewing immediate spontaneous action” meant he should be released only if and when a parole board was convinced he no longer posed a threat.

Despite being jailed for planning to create a terror camp in Pakistan to train British jihadis whom, Khan later won an appeal against that strict jail term and was freed from Whitemoor prison in December last year.
His ability to play the democratic legal system he loathed so much is as shocking as it is tragic. Born the youngest of three children in Stoke-on-Trent in 1991, Khan became passionate about the troubles that gripped his family’s homeland of Pakistan.
Aged 14, he joined “angry” youngsters at stalls in Stoke espousing a hate-filled interpretation of Islam (he was well known for shouting abuse at homosexuals and calling non-believers “dogs”).
His family home was raided following community concerns about the “hot headed” 17-year-old, prompting Khan to declare his innocence to his local paper using only a false name.
No charges were brought. But, his membership from 2010  of the so-called “Stoke Three” saw security services begin covert surveillance on him.
That group met with six other extremists to discuss plots to recruit and train home-grown terrorists, embark on a letter bomb campaigns, blow up pubs and use a pipe bomb to kill and maim people at the London Stock Exchange. The madrassa (school) for terrorists would be built on land Khan’s family owned in Kashmir.

But, while the rest of the cell wanted to begin attacks immediately, the trial judge Mr Justice Wilkie noted how Khan and his two Stoke pals were pursuing a “long term and sustained path [to become] more serious and effective terrorists.”
After his arrest, Khan was the first to plead guilty to planning a terror camp, knowing he would get a reduction in sentence.

Usman Khan, 28, in 2012 from Belmarsh Prison, London, whilst in prison for terror offences, in which he requested to be sent on a deradicalisation course, to better understand Islam and show he had changed.  CREDIT: ITV NEWS
He wrote to the judge insisting he wanted to “repent”. The judge was unconvinced, concluding Khan was “working towards a more ambitious and more serious jihadist agenda” and himself wanted military training before returning “to perform terrorist attacks on this country”.
Khan’s camp plans were deemed as dangerous as the other defendant’s pipe bomb plot in the London trading district.
In 2012, he was imprisoned for public protection for 16 years but could only be considered for release if a parole board was convinced he posed no threat. That sentence was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2013. 
Last December, Khan emerged from Whitemoor Prison before making his way to the Staitheford House bail hostel in Stafford. His imprisonment had given him ample opportunity to learn to play the system.
Under the terms of his licence he was required to wear an electronic tag, and was assigned a specialist anti-extremist parole officer, whom he met twice weekly.

That officer would have been trained to spot signs he was returning to his old extremist ways. Khan was understood to be banned from visiting London, the very target he and his co-defendants had planned to bomb.
If he had ventured near the capital his tag would have raised the alarm. In addition, Khan was signed up to the secretive Desistance and Disengagement programme (DDP) - a major part of the government’s refreshed counter terror strategy.
It is believed Anjem Choudary, the radical preacher and associate of Khan who is currently on licence following his conviction for supporting Isil, is also taking part in the programme.
The DDP, launched in 2016 as an arm of Prevent, is also used for jihadists returning from conflict zones, such as Syria and Iraq, but who have not been prosecuted.
It is meant to offer a wide range of intensive, tailored interventions and practical support, intended to tackle the drivers of radicalisation.
The programme helps with issues of identity, self-esteem, meaning and purpose; and seeks to address personal grievances that the person might have.
The Learning Together programme gave Khan the opportunity to get to the capital London, where his attack would have a greater impact.

Police surround Khan on the floor at the scene of the attack  CREDIT: @HLOBLOG
He submitted his application to his parole officer who signed it off, no doubt believing it was yet further proof Khan wanted to leave his past behind.

Police suspect that the organisers may have even paid for his train ticket, the Telegraph understands.
It is understood those on the Cambridge University programme felt Khan “showed no cause for concern” during their meetings.
It is also believed his probation team would have had to grant him permission to travel on Friday to London to attend the Learning Together event at Fishmongers’ Hall next to London Bridge.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu yesterday said Khan had been "compliant" with his "extensive list" of licence conditions.
Khan was also given permission to attend an event in Whitehall earlier this year, accompanied by a police minder, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
The visit went without a hitch which reassured the police and probation service who allowed Khan to attend the event on Friday.
Last night, neighbours near a house he was known to frequent in Stafford recalled a quiet man who wore Western dress.

A police officer stands next to forensic tents outside a property in Stafford
A property linked to his wider family in Stoke-on-Trent was being searched by teams of forensic police officers. Neighbours said they saw occupants led from the home under cover of blankets.
Both the Metropolitan and Staffordshire police forces would not comment on whether they had made any arrests connected with Friday’s attack Criminal justice expert, Harry Fletcher, said: “Khan has clearly played the system very well. 

"Despite the close monitoring he was subjected to, he was able to convince everyone he was well on the way to being a reformed character.”



Terrorists freed early to be sent back to jail as associate of London Bridge attacker first to be recalled
A woman places flowers with other floral tributes close to London Bridge in the City of London CREDIT: AFP

 Hayley Dixon
Christopher Hope,
chief political correspondent
Martin Evans, crime correspondent
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 10:06PM
close associate of the London Bridge attacker was arrested on Sunday night in a crackdown that could see a number of terrorists returned to jail, The Telegraph can reveal.

Nazam Hussain, 34, was arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts.
He was one of 74 convicted terrorists being vetted in the wake of Friday’s attack and sources have told The Telegraph “a number” are expected to be sent back to prison in the coming days.
The arrest was not linked to the London Bridge attack, police said.
Hussain and Usman Khan were jailed in 2012 for terrorist offences. They were both released on licence on the same day in December after their sentences were reduced on appeal.
It comes as the second victim of Khan’s attack was named as Saskia Jones, a 23-year-old University of Cambridge graduate who recently applied to join the police.

Victims: Saskia Jones (right), 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks, was the second to be identified after 25-year-old Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambs CREDIT: METROPOLITAN POLICE/PA
She was a volunteer with the university’s Learning Together programme and attended the five-year anniversary event for the prisoner rehabilitation scheme at Fishmongers’ Hall where Khan began his rampage.
Boris Johnson sought to blame Labour for the early release of Khan, who killed two people in the attack, as the political row over the atrocity intensified.
The Prime Minister said Khan, who was freed halfway through a 16-year jail sentence, was on the streets because of laws introduced by a “Leftie government”.

But Jeremy Corbyn said cuts to public services had contributed to the terrorist attack, warning that people cannot be kept safe “on the cheap”.
The Telegraph can also disclose that Mr Corbyn protested against the extradition of British terror suspects to the US as Anjem Choudary, a mentor to the London Bridge attacker, led another rally for the same cause just yards away, in 2012.Separately it emerged that venues which host large events should legally put in place a plan to respond to terror attacks rather than relying on “have-a-go heroes’.
Sixty-nine victims of terror attacks wrote to Monday's Daily Telegraph asking for new rules to “mandate all owners of events spaces to have in place a basic security plan”.
Jack Merritt, the first victim of the London Bridge attack to be named, is believed to have worked with Khan when the terrorist was imprisoned at the high-security HMP Whitemoor.It has emerged that Khan, who was shot dead by police on Friday, was seen as a success story of Learning Together, which Mr Merritt worked for.
He was used as a case study by the initiative to highlight its work with ex-offenders.
Staff members even took part in a 10km run to raise money to buy Khan a computer on his release so he could continue writing, despite stringent bail conditions that prevented him from using the internet. He sent them a thank-you note saying the project had a “special place in my heart” and was “more than just an organisation”.

A police officer stands next to forensic tents outside a property, which was searched in connection with stabbing on London Bridge, in Stafford CREDIT: REUTERS
But last week, Khan, 28, used his connection to the project to circumvent his licence conditions and get permission to go to London unsupervised.

In the wake of the attack, Mr Johnson announced that the Government was reviewing the licence terms of 74 jihadists who were freed. The Prime Minister told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One that “the 74 other individuals who’ve been let out early ... are being properly invigilated so as to make sure there is no threat to the public”.
Ministry of Justice officials are said to have worked through the weekend to vet the criminals, with Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, taking charge and expecting a report on all of them on his desk on Sunday night.
Officials trawled through emails, call records and meetings with other former extremists to “make sure the licensing conditions have been complied with, if not why not”. One source said “a number” would be returned to prison in the coming days.

A letter written by, terror suspect, Usman Khan, 28, in 2012 from Belmarsh Prison, London, whilst in prison for terror offences, in which he requested to be sent on a deradicalisation course, to better understand Islam and show he had changed
Hussain was visited by West Midlands Police officers assisting with the reviews at his home in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday night. Whilst checking that he was complying with the terms of his licence they are understood to have found material that caused concern and he was taken into custody.

A West Midlands spokesman said a 34-year-old had been arrested “on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
“These searches continue. There is no information to suggest that the arrested man was involved in the incident at London Bridge on Friday. There was no immediate risk to public safety.”
Hussain and Khan’s parents came from the same village in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and the pair were close friends, growing up in Stoke-on-Trent.

Disciples of the hate preacher Choudary, they planned to travel to Pakistan in January 2011, but were arrested the month before.
Hussain and Khan were given indeterminate sentences for public protection. But in April 2013, both successfully appealed and were instead given 16-year sentences, which meant they were eligible for release in December last year.
While Khan moved to Stafford, Hussain returned to his family home in Stoke. Sources stressed that he was not arrested for breaching his bail conditions.
Convicted terrorists who are released from prison under licence are required to follow a strict set of conditions. These include things like not using the internet, not mixing with former associates, keeping to a strict curfew and only attending an approved mosque.

As part of the review into convicted terrorists on licence, The Telegraph understands that former inmates will be banned from attending and speaking at events such as the one where Khan carried out his attack on Friday. He had been allowed to attend a similar event in Whitehall earlier this year with an escort.

However, last week he was given permission to travel to London unattended to attend the Learning Together seminar.

Convicted terrorism offender arrested following police review of licence conditions after London Bridge attack
 Telegraph Reporters
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 6:36PM
man has been arrested in Stoke-on-Trent following a wider on-going review of existing licence conditions of convicted terrorism offenders, West Midlands Police said.
Officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit arrested the 34-year-old man on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts after a search of his home address on Saturday.
They said searches are ongoing, adding that there is no immediate risk to public safety.
The force has said that there is no information to suggest that the arrested man was involved in the incident at London Bridge.
An urgent review of terrorists released from prison was launched by the Ministry of Justice following the attack on Friday.
Usman Khan, 28, who was living in Stafford, killed two people in a knife attack at a conference held in Fishmongers' Hall.
He had been released from prison on licence in December 2018 and was wearing an electronic monitoring tag when he was shot dead by police after the rampage.
The 28-year-old was convicted of terror offences in February 2012 and handed an indeterminate sentence for public protection, with a minimum term of eight years, meaning he could have been kept in prison for as long he was deemed to be a threat to the public.

The sentence was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013 and he was given a determinate 16-year jail term, with a five-year extended licence period, under legislation which meant he was released automatically halfway through the sentence.
Sentencing law changed later in 2012, and if Khan was given the same sentence today he would have had to serve at least two-thirds of it.
The incident at London Bridge has raised questions about the policy of releasing convicted terrorists on licence.

Stop playing politics with the London Bridge attack: fight terrorism instead

1 DECEMBER 2019 • 9:30PM



In the heat of an election campaign, the politics of the tragedy soon became fierce CREDIT:  ALBERTO PEZZALI/AP
ot even the sadness and solemnity of a terrorist attack can escape Britain’s raging culture war. As soon as we discovered the hero who apprehended Usman Khan was a Polish chef called Lukasz, liberals celebrated “bloody EU migrants, coming over here battling our terrorists.” Others argued Britain had little problem with Islamist violence before the days of mass migration.
In the heat of an election campaign, the politics of the tragedy soon became fierce. Shortly after the attack, Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey attacked the Tories for cutting police spending. “We’ve got to invest in counter-terrorism measures”, she insisted, not mentioning that counter-terrorism budgets have increased every year since 2010.
About 24 hours had passed when Yvette Cooper, a “moderate” Labour MP campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn, ignited a row about sentencing policy. She pointed out that Khan’s sentence had been changed from one that blocked his release from prison until he was no longer a threat to public safety, to one that meant he would be released automatically after eight years. Showing little understanding of the criminal justice system, she appeared to claim that Khan’s amended sentence was thanks to a change in government policy, rather than a legal judgment made in 2013 by the Court of Appeal.
Yet as soon as Boris Johnson argued we should end the automatic release of prisoners, terrorists should receive tougher sentences and some should never be released from prison at all, he was attacked for “politicising” the attack. Never mind that he had already proposed tougher sentences and an end to automatic release in August, shortly after becoming prime minister. The liberal Left was united in calling his response “cynical” and “a ploy” to deflect from criticism.
In fact it is the liberal Left who are busily deflecting from the failure of their favoured policies. Take a look at the leader column in yesterday’s Observer.  “Any politician who implies that there is a simple way to eliminate the risk of terrorism should be treated with the contempt they deserve,” it pronounced, shortly after arguing that the attack was “a tragedy that has grown out of Tory cuts.”
In fact there is no evidence that cuts had anything to do with Friday’s attack. Khan’s prison sentence was changed because of a successful court appeal. He was released halfway through his term because that is what the law mandated. He made it to London – despite the terms of his release under licence – because he had fooled the authorities that he was a changed character. When he launched his attack, the police responded rapidly and superbly. 
This is not to say that police, prison and probation policies – and budgets – should not be scrutinised. This latest attack shows the severity of the threat we face, and the limitations of our response.
MI5 has thwarted 25 attacks since 2017. It has more than 20,000 “subjects of interest” on its databases, some of whom, experience teaches us, are likely to turn to violence without much warning. It has more than 3,000 people on its watchlists, which means it cannot keep eyes on every suspect every hour of the day. It is handling a record number of cases – more than 700 investigations – and the threat is evolving and mutating all the time. 
Around 400 British fighters have returned from the war in Syria, a “significant proportion” of whom the authorities have assessed as safe and not prosecuted. 51 convicted terrorists – most of whom served lengthy sentences – have been released from prison in the last year. And, as the PM told us yesterday, 74 convicted terrorists have been freed – like Khan – as part of the early release programme.
In the fight against terrorism, prisons and probation are curiously neglected. Ian Acheson, a former prison governor who reviewed Islamist extremism in prisons, probation and youth justice, said yesterday that his recommendations – made in 2016 – have been largely ignored. Acheson says prisons lack “the leadership, competence or will to deal with terrorist offenders,” and there is “jaw-dropping naivety and bureaucratic obfuscation.”
The Acheson review – and its proposals for proper end-to-end management of terrorist offenders, with a clear command chain and officers with proper expertise – needs to be implemented in full. The probation service, which was subject to a botched reorganisation in 2014, needs to be strengthened, and released terrorists must no longer be treated like ordinary criminals but the ideologically-motivated extremists they are. The PM’s proposed changes should put more terrorists out of action for longer. A modern treason law might also allow us to make treasonous actions an aggravated offence, increasing prison sentences.

With more terrorists coming to the end of their sentences, and more returning from Syria, we should restore some of the preventative powers made possible by control orders, which were weakened gradually by the courts until the coalition government removed them altogether. We should improve our powers to block dangerous foreign nationals from coming to Britain, and deport those already here. These changes will require not only a significant improvement in systems and operational capabilities, but quite probably derogations from the European Convention on Human Rights.
And of course we need to do much more to tackle the extremism that lies behind the threat. We know Usman Khan was influenced by the hate preacher, Anjem Choudary, and the terrorist, Anwar al-Awlaki, whose hate-filled sermons imploring jihad were available for years on YouTube. We need greater powers to shut up the likes of Choudary and Awlaki. And we need to do far more to stand up to cultural extremism – think about the recent hateful, homophobic protests outside Birmingham schools, not to mention the notorious Trojan Horse plot – if we are to stop young people growing up hating British values.
Sceptics are right to caution against knee-jerk reactions to Friday’s attack.  But after nearly two decades of Islamist terror and violence, we should know what needs to be done.

Boris Johnson says more than 70 terrorists released early from prison are being 'proper  invigilated'
 Harry Yorke, political correspondent
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 11:57AM
oris Johnson has said more than 70 terrorists released from prison are being examined to ensure they pose no threat to the public amid a growing political row over the London Bridge attack.
The Prime Minister claimed there were “probably about 74” people subject to early release after terror offences who were now being “properly invigilated”.
It comes after Mr Johnson promised to introduce tougher anti-terror legislation in response to Friday’s attack in order to make sure terrorists serve “every day” of their prison sentences.
Speaking on Saturday evening, he said he was “angry” that Usman Khan had been free to embark on a knife rampage after being automatically released in Dec 2018 after serving only half of his 16-year sentence.
Jeremy Corbyn has questioned the circumstances leading to Khan’s release, including the role of the Parole Board, and has called for a “very full investigation” into the incident.
Speaking to the Sophy Ridge programme on Sky News, the Labour leader said that those convicted of terror offences should “not necessarily” always serve their full sentence, adding that it “depends on the circumstances”.
“I think it depends on the circumstances, it depends on the sentence but crucially depends on what they’ve done in prison,” he added.

However, he said the police were justified in killing Khan, adding that they had “no choice” and were “stuck with a situation where there was a credible threat of a bomb belt around his body”.

Separately, Baroness Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, said it was “very unedifying” for Mr Johnson to be “talking about knee-jerk legislation and throwing away keys”.
Asked why Khan had been released early, Mr Johnson blamed Labour for bringing in a system of automatic early release.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: "The reason this killer was out on the streets was because of automatic early release which was brought in by a leftie government.

“I think it is ridiculous, I think it is repulsive, that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that's why we are going to change the law.
"His release was necessary under the law because of the automatic early release scheme under which he was sentenced, that was the reality, and that was brought in by Labour with the support of Jeremy Corbyn and the rest of the Labour Party.
"I opposed it both in 2003 and 2008, and now that I am Prime Minister I'm going to take steps to make sure that people are not released early when they commit... serious sexual, violent or terrorist offences.”

Asked what action was being taken in relation to others convicted for terror offences who had been released early, Mr Johnson added: "What we're doing there is we've taken a lot of action as you can imagine in the last 48 hours. I don't want to go into the operation details.

"I'm sure people can imagine what we're doing to ensure that 74 other individuals who've been let out early on the basis of this Labour change in legislation, they are being properly invigilated to make sure there is no threat."
"So, I disagree with Jeremy Corbyn and Shami Chakrabarti when it comes to having shorter sentences."

'A beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog': London Bridge victim named as Jack Merritt
London Bridge terror attack victim Jack Merritt has been named as one of two people who died

 Patrick Sawer, senior news reporter
Phoebe Southworth
Tracey Kandohla
30 NOVEMBER 2019 • 2:56PM
mong those killed in the carnage of the London Bridge attack was law and criminology course leader Jack Merritt, described as someone always on the side of the underdog.
The 25-year-old, who worked at the University of Cambridge’s criminology department, lost his life at an event underpinned by the belief that every one of us who does wrong is capable of redemption.
But among those ex-offenders attending the Fishmongers’ Hall Learning Together event was the man who killed him - as well as other former criminals who came to the assistance of the injured and tried to stop the attacker.
Jack Merritt, who had attended Hills Road Sixth Form in Cambridge, was the course co-ordinator for Learning Together, described as “bringing students in Higher Education & Criminal Justice institutions together in transformative learning communities”.

Law and criminology course leader Jack Merritt was described as someone always on the side of the underdog CREDIT: FACEBOOK/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM
As part of the programme, students based at the University of Cambridge and students based in prison studied together on university-level courses.
The aim was to form connections that “make society more inclusive and safer by reducing reoffending”.
Mr Merritt’s father David, also from Cambridge, described his son as “a beautiful spirit who always took the side of the underdog” and who believed deeply in the concept of prisoner rehabilitation.

He added on Twitter: “My son, Jack, who was killed in this attack, would not wish his death to be used as the pretext for more draconian sentences or for detaining people unnecessarily.
“Jack spoke so highly of all the people he worked with & he loved his job.”
Jack had previously studied law at the University of Manchester and went on to undergo further studies at Cambridge.
A photograph on his social media pages shows him smiling, champagne bottle in hand, on one of the main thoroughfares in Cambridge.
Just a few weeks before he was killed, he was holidaying in Seville, Spain, with girlfriend Leanne O'Brieen to celebrate his birthday.
He wrote on social media: "Thanks @leanneobrieen for an ace surprise birthday weekend. Living the dream."

Jack Merritt graduated in law from Manchester University and went on to undergo further studies at Cambridge CREDIT: FACEBOOK/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM
Mr Merritt Snr, who describes himself as “an average, pragmatic left-leaning atheist”, was critical of recent cuts in front line police officers and the budget of the prison and probation services, which he said had “been decimated by cuts since 2010”.
Serena Wright, a colleague of Jack Merritt, described him as “the sweetest, most caring and selfless individual I’ve ever met".
She added on Twitter: “I loved him to pieces. The warmest heart, always with time for anyone. Completely irreplaceable - I will mourn his loss greatly and honour his memory.”

Neighbours near the Merritt family home last night paid tribute to Jack, describing him as “such a fine young man” who “devoted his life to helping others less fortunate than himself.”
Dawn Marr, 80, who used to babysit him and younger brother Joe, said: “This is tragic. I just can’t believe it and I’m totally shocked. He was such a fine young man and his father was very proud of him.” 
One of the most upsetting among the blizzard of images taken by passersby of the London Bridge attack showed a severely injured woman being carried in tarpaulin by four police officers.
Police said a woman was also killed in the attack, along with another dozen injured.
The London Bridge attacker, Usman Khan, was tackled by ex-offenders who had been invited to the conference for rehabilitation after he started "lashing out", it has emerged.
Khan had previously participated in Cambridge University's Learning Together prisoner rehabilitation programme but had showed "no cause for concern".

Khan had previously participated in Cambridge University's Learning Together prisoner rehabilitation programme CREDIT: WEST MIDLANDS POLICE/ PA
According to the source, all those involved in tackling Khan, with the exception of the man reported to be a Polish chef, were ex-offenders.
They, along with Khan, had been invited to attend the conference at Fishmongers' Hall after having previously participated in the programme.

It is understood that Khan started "lashing out" in a downstairs room of the hall but was grabbed by the conference-goers and bundled out of the front door as he tried to go upstairs.
From here he was chased and bundled to the floor, where he was shot and killed by armed police officers.

London Bridge attack: Second victim named as Saskia Jones, former Cambridge University student
Saskia, 23, from Stratford-upon-Avon, died alongside Jack Merritt

 Victoria Ward
Martin Evans, crime correspondent
Sophie Barnes
Phoebe Southworth
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 4:43PM
he second victim of Friday's London Bridge terror attack was a Cambridge University graduate, who was so committed to helping others that she had recently applied to join the police, it emerged last night.
Saskia Jones, 23, was described by her family as "funny" and "kind" and someone who had a "positive influence" on all those she met.
Miss Jones, from Stratford upon Avon, completed an MPhil in Criminology last year, and had recently applied to the police's graduate scheme and was hoping to specialise in victim support.
In an emotional statement her family said her loss would leave a huge void in the lives of those who had been lucky enough to know her.
They said: “Saskia was a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people’s lives.
“She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people.
“She was intent on living life to the full, and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be.
“Saskia had a great passion for providing invaluable support to victims of criminal injustice, which led her to the point of recently applying for the police graduate recruitment programme, wishing to specialise in victim support."

Saskia Jones died in Friday's terror attack at London Bridge
Miss Jones had been attending a prisoner rehabilitation initiative organised by Cambridge University's Learning Together network at Fishmongers' Hall in the City of London, when convicted terrorist, Usman Khan went berserk and began attacking volunteers and delegates with two large knives.

She died alongside fellow Cambridge graduate, Jack Merritt, who was a course co-ordinator and was also deeply committed to helping prisoners' turn their lives around.
Khan, who was released from prison last year after serving eight years of a 16-year sentence for plotting to blow up the London Stock Exchange and other targets, had been invited to attend the event to discuss his experiences.
But he turned on those who had been trying to help him, stabbing Mr Merritt and Miss Jones to death and injuring at least three others.

The family of Saskia Jones have paid tribute to her
Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe, director of the Institute of Criminology, at Cambridge, paid tribute to both victims.
She said: "Saskia's warm disposition and extraordinary intellectual creativity was combined with a strong belief that people who have committed criminal offences should have opportunities for rehabilitation.
"Though she completed her MPhil in Criminology in 2018, her determination to make an enduring and positive impact on society in everything she did led her to stay in contact with the Learning Together community.
"They valued her contributions enormously and were inspired by her determination to push towards the good."
Describing Mr Merritt, she said: "All of us at the Institute will miss Jack's quiet humour and rigorous intellect. Jack's passion for social and criminal justice was infectious. He was deeply creatively and courageously engaged with the world, advocating for a politics of love. He worked tirelessly in dark places to pull towards the light."

Jack Merritt also died in the attack
Last month Miss Jones posted on her Facebook page: “I hope I never get tired of the night sky, of thunderstorms, of watching cream make galaxies in my coffee. This world is ugly. I hope I never grow to be someone who can no longer see the small beautiful things.”

Friends also paid tribute to Miss Jones. Sebastian LeFeuvre wrote on Facebook that Miss Jones was “such a beautiful person and soul” and “the world is a darker place without her.''
Another friend, Sophie Ryder, posted on Facebook: “Saskia was one of the wittiest, most caring people and taken well too soon in such cruel circumstances.”
Dr Olivia Smith, a lecturer in criminology and social policy at Loughborough University who previously taught Miss Jones, posted on Twitter: “Saskia was one of those students makes you so proud to be in this job. I’m so sorry that the world won’t get to see what she could have achieved. She was one of a kind and loved justice, she would have been a force for good and I’m so sorry for us all that we’ve lost her.” 
Stephen Toope, vice chancellor of Cambridge University, said in a statement that he was "sad beyond words" to confirm the news of Miss Jones’ death as he condemned the "abhorrent and senseless act of terror."
Note: The old terrorist groupie can be relied on to fraternise with terrorists ... RH

Jeremy Corbyn protested against extradition of terror suspects outside court as Anjem Choudary held second rally just yards away
Jeremy Corbyn spoke at a 2012 demonstration to oppose the extradition of two terror suspects as Anjem Choudary (left) held a second protest 30 yards away
 Harry Yorke,
political correspondent
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 10:00PM
eremy Corbyn protested against the extradition of British terror suspects to the United States as Anjem Choudary, a mentor to the London Bridge attacker, led a rally for the same cause just yards away.
The Labour leader spoke outside the Royal Courts of Justice in 2012 before Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who appeared to argue that five men, among them the notorious hate preacher Abu Hamza, should not be deported.
Two of the men were aides to Osama bin Laden wanted in connection to the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in East Africa, whilst the other pair later pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorists.
Speaking just hours before High Court judges dismissed the final appeal of the five men against extradition, Mr Corbyn told the gathering: “We are fighting against the overwhelming power of the USA to extradite people from this country.”
Photographs and video footage taken at the event in central London show Mr Corbyn standing next to Asim Qureshi, the Cage UK spokesman, who in 2015 described Mohammed Emwazi. the Isil terrorist, as a “beautiful man”.
Just 30 yards away, Choudary, the co-founder of the British terror group Al-Muhajiroun, was also protesting at a second demonstration against the extraditions along with Siddartha Dhar and Mohammed Reza Haque, two men who would later become “poster boys” for Isil.

Pictured: Anjem Choudary (centre) protesting alongside Siddartha Dhar (left) at the second demonstration
Choudary was a known associate of Usman Khan, the London Bridge terrorist, and in 2012 described the 28-year-old and several of his co-conspirators in a London Stock Exchange bomb plot as “students of mine”.
A Labour spokesman said that Mr Corbyn “completely condemns Anjem Choudary and his hateful, dangerous views” but declined to say whether he was aware of the cleric’s presence outside the courts.
Yesterday, Mr Corbyn launched a scathing attack on British foreign policy, declaring that the War on Terror had “manifestly failed” to make the country safer.
Highlighting the London Bridge atrocity, he claimed “for far too long” successive governments had “made the wrong calls on our security” and had “fuelled, not reduced that threat”.
“Their mistakes in no way absolve terrorists of blame for their murderous actions – the blame lies with the terrorists, their funders and recruiters,” he said in a speech in York. “But if we are to protect people, we must be honest about what threatens our security.”
He also clashed with Boris Johnson earlier in the day over his plans to bolster anti-terror legislation, telling Sky News that people convicted of terrorism offences should “not necessarily” serve a full sentence and that it “depends on the circumstances”.
Echoing his comments, Baroness Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, claimed it was “unedifying” to talk about “throwing away the keys”.

It comes seven years after Mr Corbyn attended the demonstration, held just hours before High Court judges dismissed a final appeal by the five men to avoid being tried in America.
The protest was organised to oppose the extradition of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, who were accused of running a website which raised funds for militants in Afghanistan and Chechnya. They pled guilty a year later.
In his speech, Mr Corbyn did not single out the two men by name, stating only that he “came here this morning to support those who are facing extradition without any trial, without any process, without any accusation, without any conviction from this country.”
Approached for comment on Sunday, a Labour spokesman said Mr Corbyn had only opposed the extradition of Ahmad and Ahsan and that his comments “predate” their subsequent convictions in the US.
However Mr Begg, who spoke directly after Mr Corbyn, appeared to suggest that none of the men facing extradition should be deported.

Mr Corbyn addressing a demonstration to protest against the extradition of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan
“The court here is not just making the judgment on Babar Ahmed, not just on Talha Ahsan, not just on the three others, who collectively have spent over 45 years detained in British prisons without charge or trial,” he said.
“They are making a judgment on the whole of the Muslim community in Britain. What will the families of Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary, whose names haven’t been mentioned, how will their children grow up in this country?
“Let us say we will never forget Babar Ahmad, we will never forget Talha Ahsan, we will never forget all of the other five in fact, because all have been detained without charge or trial.”
Al-Fawwaz, 57, and Adel Abdul Bary, 59, were both accused of being members of Al-Qaeda’s London cell and were later jailed in the US over their involvement in the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people.
The fifth man, Abu Hamza, was one of Britain’s most notorious extremists and is commonly referred to as the “hook-handed preacher”.
He was initially jailed for seven years in the UK for inciting violence but, after an eight year legal battle, was finally deported to the US to face terrorism charges. He is currently serving a life sentence at a “supermax” prison in Colorado.
A Labour spokesman said: “Jeremy has a long record of support for due legal process, especially in the most controversial of cases, as a vital cornerstone of our democratic system. He is a longstanding critic of the US-led War on Terror, which has manifestly failed to keep us safe.
“He worked with members of his community, alongside the police and local council, to get Abu Hamza, the hate he preached, and his supporters removed from Finsbury Park Mosque.”


Britain's absurd sentencing system needs a radical overhaul
30 NOVEMBER 2019 • 10:00PM
Police patrol London Bridge. CREDIT: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

he fact that Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist and a dangerous Islamist extremist, was free to murder two people and injure others reflects a catastrophic institutional failure. The Prime Minister, who has pledged to end the automatic early release system, is absolutely right to be “angry”. Boris Johnson’s instincts are the most radically pro‑law and order that we’ve heard from a PM in years, and they are very welcome indeed. Britain needs to dramatically rethink and overhaul its broken sentencing regime.
Khan was more than just known to the security services: this despicable individual went to jail in 2012 for his role in a plan to bomb the London Stock Exchange, the American embassy and the home of Mr Johnson. The judge who sent him down said he was a “serious jihadist” who should not be released so long as he was a threat to the community. But something went shockingly wrong. Khan was initially given an indeterminate penalty sentence that could keep him inside for as long as necessary, but these were abolished in 2012 and his sentence was changed on appeal to a 16-year custodial sentence. According to the parole board, Khan appears to have been let out "automatically on licence (as required by law)". A “serious jihadist” was released with a tag – and then given permission to travel to London for a conference on prisoner rehabilitation. Khan must have been monitored by someone, so what went wrong?
Never has the contrast been so great between the myopia of the establishment and the common sense of the public who stepped in to stop the killer. The official advice in a terror attack is to run in the opposite direction – and, of course, the public should be sensible and stay safe. But how wonderful to know that, when push comes to shove, some people’s instincts are utterly selfless and incredibly brave – to run towards trouble and try to help. The police, too, have earned admiration for the speed with which they were at the scene and the decisiveness of their actions. Khan chose to wear a fake suicide vest, but it could have been real. The police couldn’t take a chance.
But it shouldn’t have come to this, and wouldn’t have done so if Britain didn’t operate an absurdly liberal sentencing regime full of enough cracks for a man like Khan to slip through. The Prime Minister has stated that, in his opinion, there should be a mandatory term for a serious terrorist offence of 14 years – “and some should never be released”. Plus, for all terrorism and extremism cases, “the sentence announced by the judge must be the time actually served”.
This is necessary not only to keep the public safe from those being sentenced but to send a clear message to extremists at large that Britain is determined to police itself and will not tolerate their activities. For too long the establishment’s inclinations have been towards leniency. Hopefully a new Tory government will turn the tide.

Irish Isil suspect arrested in Dublin after being deported from Turkey
Lisa Smith was arrested in Dublin on Sunday

 James Rothwell
1 DECEMBER 2019 • 4:20PM
olice have arrested an Irish woman accused of being a member of the so-called Islamic State terror group after she arrived in Dublin by plane on Sunday.
Lisa Smith, a 38-year-old former soldier in the Irish Defence Force, is accused of travelling to Syria and joining the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
Ms Smith had been living with her child in a Syrian refugee camp where she said in a series of interviews that she would like to return to Ireland. 
She was deported from Turkey on a Turkish Airlines flight which arrived around 1030am at Dublin airport, where she was detained by police officers.

Photograph of a young Lisa Smith. The 38-year-old former Irish Defence Force soldier was arrested in Dublin on Sunday CREDIT: HANDOUT
"Today, Sunday 1st December 2019, at Dublin Airport, An Garda Siochana has arrested an Irish Citizen (38 year old female) on suspicion of terrorist offences following her deportation from Turkey," an Irish police spokesman said.
"She is currently being detained at a South Dublin Garda station under the provisions of Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939 as amended.
"A child, also an Irish citizen, was in the company of the female and is now being cared for by relatives."
Irish broadcaster RTE said she was accompanied by three consular officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, members of the Army Ranger Wing, and a Turkish security officer. She was not in custody for the four-and-a-half-hour flight but Irish police were waiting at Dublin airport for the plane's arrival.

Images of her arrival showed her covered in a pink blanket as she was taken from the plane in heavy rain. Her daughter was born in Syria but is an Irish citizen.

Hurrah for the British stiff upper lip – whether you're born British or not 

1 DECEMBER 2019 • 7:00PM
When things like this happen, we all like to imagine what we’d do CREDIT: BOB MORAN

I fear I’d be about as useful as a Bakewell tart in a London Bridge scenario, but it's good to know there are still others out there who fight back
Hurrah for Thomas Gray! He was driving his mini across London Bridge last Friday when he saw a terrorist being chased by some men with a fire extinguisher: he jumped out of his car and joined them as they pinned the fanatic to the ground. They stomped on Usman Khan’s wrists till he dropped his knives, then the police shot Khan dead. “One thought was going through my mind,” explained M

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