Chemistry teacher who tried to join ISIS released back onto UK streets

7 February 2020, 22:50

Jamshed Javeed was jailed for six years for planning to travel from his home in Manchester to Syria to join ISIS
Jamshed Javeed was jailed for six years for planning to travel from his home in Manchester to Syria to join ISIS. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

A chemistry teacher who planned to join ISIS and was tipped to be released from prison next month has already been set free to roam UK streets.

Jamshed Javeed was jailed for six years in March 2015 for planning to travel from his Manchester home to Syria to join the terror group.

Despite being handed an extended sentence, the Parole Board cleared him for release last year when he was halfway through his sentence.

He was initially thought to be eligible for release in March but officials confirmed he has already been freed from prison on licence.

The news comes as the Government presses ahead with plans to bring in emergency laws to stop any more terrorists being freed from prison automatically by setting up a specialist Parole Board panel to review cases eligible for release.

Chemistry teacher Jamshed Javeed has been released on licence
Chemistry teacher Jamshed Javeed has been released on licence. Picture: PA

Lawyers are gearing up to fight the proposals, set to be put before the House of Commons next week, arguing that the rules cannot be imposed retrospectively on criminals already sentenced.

The urgent legislation was put in motion after two terror attacks in three months were carried out by convicted terrorists following their release from prison.

Javeed was poised to travel to the war-torn state in late 2013 but his family hid his passport in a desperate attempt to thwart his plans.

Despite learning his wife was pregnant, the teacher - who taught 11 to 16-year-olds in Bolton - persisted with his plan after helping his younger brother make the trip.

But he was arrested hours before he was set to leave the UK.

Emergency legislation is set to be put to Parliament to stop convicted terrorists from being released early
Emergency legislation is set to be put to Parliament to stop convicted terrorists from being released early. Picture: PA

Police discovered he had researched prominent figures such as the radical clerics Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, as well as the jihadi group Jabhat al Nusra on the internet.

Javeed insisted he was travelling to support the people of Syria and not join the terror group when he admitted two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

But Judge Michael Topolski QC, when sentencing the 30-year-old, said he was "not satisfied" that Javeed had rejected "Isis's ultimate aims" and ruled that he posed a danger to the public in the UK and abroad.

He was handed an extended sentence of nine years, six of those to be served behind bars with a three year licence period afterwards.

At the time Judge Topolski said: "Whether you believed you were fighting in a just cause is irrelevant. The law is clear - this was terrorism."

He said Javeed remained "adherent to a violent jihadist mindset", adding: "You are in my judgment an individual whose potential danger to the public in this country or abroad is clear."

Sudesh Amman, the Streatham attacker, had been released 11 days before carrying out his attack
Sudesh Amman, the Streatham attacker, had been released 11 days before carrying out his attack. Picture: PA

The Parole Board said his case was "concluded" in June last year.

He has since been released.

Offenders are subject to strict licence conditions and can be recalled to prison at any point if they breach them or their risk appears to have increased, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.

Conditions include GPS tags, internet bans, curfews, living in a bail hostel or restrictions on who they meet.

Terrorists on licence are banned from contacting accomplices or others with terror convictions and are "closely managed" by probation, police and other authorities who share information on the risk they pose.

A target of February 27 has been set to rush the Bill through Parliament as police chiefs warned that the threat of terrorism is "not diminishing".

It is understood Sunderland shopkeeper Mohammed Zahir Khan is due to be released on February 28, while around five other terrorists are expected to be let out in March unless the new law is in force.

The father, originally from Birmingham, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in May 2018 for posting messages and material that was supportive of IS on social media.

Sudesh Amman wore a fake suicide belt as he grabbed a knife from a shop in Streatham High Road, south London, on Sunday, before stabbing two bystanders.

The 20-year-old had been jailed for possessing and distributing terrorist documents in December 2018, but was freed automatically halfway through his sentence less than a fortnight ago.

He was put under 24-hour police surveillance on his release after it is understood security services regarded him as an "extremely concerning individual".

Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt were killed by Usman Khan in November when he launched his attack armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest during a prisoner rehabilitation programme near London Bridge - nearly a year after he was released halfway through a 16-year jail sentence for terror offences.

There are 224 terrorists in prison in Britain, with most thought to be holding Islamist extremist views, according to the latest published figures to the end of September.

As many as 50 terrorists could be freed from jail this year, figures suggest.

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