Terror suspect deported to Algeria

Terror suspect deported to Algeria

Press Association, Saturday June 17, 2006 8:03 PM

A former « Belmarsh detainee » described as a senior member of a terrorist group linked with Osama Bin Laden has been deported from Britain, the Home Office said.

The man, who can only be identified by the initial « I » was returned to Algeria after voluntarily dropping his appeal against deportation moves by the Government.

He was the second Algerian terror suspect to be removed from Britain on national security grounds, following Friday’s departure of another Algerian known as « V ».

Mr « I » was imprisoned without charge or trial for three years under the Government’s controversial Internment Powers.

The Home Secretary has insisted that the Algerian was a senior member of the Abu Doha group and had received Mujahedeen training in Afghanistan. He was said to be an expert in manufacturing electrical explosives.

The departures of Mr « I » and Mr « V » are coup for Home Secretary John Reid. The Home Office has been struggling for years over how to keep British people safe from the men they believe are a threat.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: « The British Government is grateful to the Algerian authorities for their cooperation in facilitating the deportation of this individual.

« This is an indication of our shared commitment in the fight against terrorism and of the warm relationship between our two countries. »

She confirmed that a number of other Algerians had withdrawn their appeals against deportation moves and that proceedings were underway to remove them from Britain.

A source close to Mr « I », who did not want to be named, said that his decision to return to Algiers was « voluntary » and « out of desperation » at the way he had been treated by Britain over a number of years.