In Depth

London Bridge attack: who are the 69 terrorists freed early?

Two ‘violent jihadists’ already returned to jail as police check licence conditions

A total of 69 “violent jihadists” released from prison early will have new licence conditions imposed on them as a result of the London Bridge knife attack.

Two convicted terrorists have already been returned to prison since Friday’s fatal attack, with more expected to follow in the coming days.

Who are the 69 terrorists?

The former prisoners have all been convicted of violence-related terrorism offences and are “some of the most notorious terrorist figures in the country”, says The Telegraph.

They include members of the banned al-Muhajiroun group led by hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

On Monday, former Choudary associate Nazam Hussain was arrested by police in Stoke-on-Trent on suspicion of preparing acts of terror. He had been jailed alongside Usman Khan, the London Bridge attacker, in 2012. The pair were released on licence last December.

Another prisoner, Yahya Rashid, is also back in custody after police discovered he had been hiding a phone from authorities, in breach of his licence conditions. Rashid was jailed in 2015 after attempts to travel to Syria to join Isis.

Rashid was released from prison last year – halfway through his five-year sentence – on the condition that he informed police of any changes to personal details, including phone numbers and email addresses. But a search of his home discovered a secret iPhone and email address he hadn’t declared.

The remaining 67 terrorists will all be visited by police, who will assess whether they have breached any of their existing licence conditions.

And many more terror suspects will be scrutinised more closely. Police, intelligence services and probation chiefs are set to examine files of another 150 known terror suspects, says The Times.

This group includes inmates who are approaching release, and suspects who were arrested under terrorism laws but ultimately convicted of lesser offences and are now free.

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What are the new conditions?

The new conditions will further curtail the movements of extremists, as well as imposing tighter curfews.

They will have limits put on the people they are allowed to associate with, and there will be bans on speaking at or attending events like the one where Khan committed his attack.

Every terrorist prisoner on licence will meet their probation team and have their current restrictions reviewed.

Ministers will consider restrictions “case by case”, with conditions including “possible bans on visiting towns and cities and a prohibition on using the internet on any device”, says the Times.

Any breaches of licence conditions would lead to a return to jail.

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