Al-Qa'ida bomb plot suspects to stay in UK
Published 19/05/2010 | 05:00
A PAIR of suspected al-Qa'ida terrorists who allegedly plotted to bomb a packed shopping centre cannot be deported to Pakistan because it would breach their human rights, a tribunal ruled yesterday.
Abid Naseer and Ahmad Faraz Khan won the right to stay in Britain even though the court accepted they were planning an "imminent" attack in Manchester when they were arrested last year.
A judge said he was "satisfied" that ringleader Naseer, in particular, "still poses a serious threat to the national security of the United Kingdom" but his hands were tied by human rights law because the two men might be tortured if they were sent home.
The ruling has reignited debate on the European Convention on Human Rights, on which the men based their appeal against deportation.
British Home Secretary Theresa May said she was "disappointed" with the decision, but there was confusion last night about whether Britain's coalition government would repeal the relevant human rights laws.
Paymaster General Francis Maude initially said the government had "no plans" to do so, but later ministers announced a commission to study the creation of a UK Bill of Rights which would give British courts supremacy over European legislation.
Naseer (24) and Khan (26) were among 12 suspects arrested in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancashire last April following an intensive surveillance operation led by MI5. The men were never charged but the Home Office attempted to deport Naseer and Khan on national security grounds. (© Daily Telegraph, London)