MP SEEKS URGENT GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO LONG LARTIN TERROR ALLEGATIONS
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MP SEEKS URGENT GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO LONG LARTIN TERROR ALLEGATIONS

The MP for Long Lartin prison is today seeking urgent responses from the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw and the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, to the allegations in today’s Sunday Times about lax security surrounding detained Islamic extremists at the jail.

Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff is contacting the private offices of both ministers today and he will be seeking to speak to them and to the prison governor tomorrow, Monday.

The Sunday Times reports today that,

“Some of Britain’s most dangerous Al-Qaeda leaders are promoting jihad from inside high-security prisons by smuggling out propaganda for the internet and finding recruits.

“In an authoritative report, Quilliam, a think tank funded by the Home Office, claims “mismanagement” by the Prison Service is helping AlQaeda gain recruits and risks “strengthening jihadist movements”.

“Abu Qatada, described by MI5 as “Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe”, has published fatwas — religious rulings — on the internet from Long Lartin prison, in Worcestershire, calling for holy war and the murder of moderate Muslims, it reveals.”

Commenting, Peter said,

“I have visited the prison on several occasions and have toured the detention unit itself. I was impressed by the way in which prison staff sought to maintain the toughest possible security in the unit, but it looks as if the ingenuity of the inmates may have found ways round the stringent regime.

“The safety of our nation depends on all the inmates of prisons like Long Lartin being kept securely. Very special considerations apply to the Islamic extremist detainees whom the United Kingdom is often seeking to deport to foreign jurisdictions to stand trial for offences there.

“In my view the courts have, in the past, failed to protect us by allowing the release of dangerous individuals from Long Lartin and other prisons, and by delaying the deportation of many others. While these deeply dangerous men remain in British custody, we must be absolutely confident that they can do no harm – and today’s revelations suggest we cannot be confident of that.

“The government must move quickly to address the exceptionally serious issues this report raises.”

ENDS


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