Al-Qaeda terrorist group leader denied parole after spending 14 years in UK prison

In 2008, a British-born terrorist sentenced to life in prison for leading an al-Qaeda gang that planned a genocide in South Africa was denied parole.

Rangzieb Ahmed, 47, was the first person to be convicted of orchestrating terrorism in the UK.

In 2008, after being deported from Pakistan, Ahmed was convicted by a criminal court in Manchester and sentenced to a minimum of 10 years’ life in prison for planning a terrorist attack by a Dubai-based al Qaeda cell. .

During his trial, Ahmed claimed in Pakistan that, in collusion with MI6, he was tortured by inter-service intelligence agencies, beating him and pulling out his nails while trying to obtain information on al-Qaeda.

Epoch Times photo
Rangzieb Ahmed, 47, was the first person to be convicted of orchestrating terrorism in the UK. (GMP)

However, the Court of Appeal dismissed his claim and he was not allowed to appeal to the British Supreme Court.

Tried to sue MI6 over torture claims in Pakistan

In 2020, he sued MI5, MI6, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Attorney General and the Greater Manchester Police, alleging they were all complicit in his torture and wrongful imprisonment while in Pakistan.

Earlier this week, Her Majesty’s Inspector General of Prisons said the nine convicted terrorists held in the segregation center had not taken a criminal conduct course aimed at Islamic extremists. The parole board confirmed that Ahmed participated in a certification program while incarcerated.

However, the parole board said concerns were raised about his “attitude, beliefs and behavior.”

The commission heard evidence from prison officials, a probation officer, a psychologist, a former police officer, an Arabic language professor, and also interviewed Ahmed.

They said plans for him to live in “designated accommodation” with severe restrictions on contact, movement and activity were not “robust” enough to manage the threat he still posed. Stated.

Ahmed is one of about 100 convicted Islamist terrorists eligible for parole from British prisons.

In December 2021, the independent terrorism law examiner, Jonathan Hall QC, warned that errors could be made in releasing some of these detainees.

Condolence messages and flowers for the London Bridge attack
Condolence messages and flowers, including a photo of victim Jack Merritt, are seen near the site of the London Bridge stabbing in London, December 1, 2019. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Among the convicted terrorists released in recent years are Usman Khan, who killed two people at Fishmonger’s Hall in London 11 months after his release in 2019, and stabbed a shopper in Streatham. There is Sudesh Amman, who was later shot dead by the police. South London, one month after liberation.

Hall said the parole board would be “very cautious” after these incidents, especially given that Khan convinced the prison chaplain and probation officer that he had abandoned the Islamist cause. rice field.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.