Two men declared by a judge to be a threat to national security today won the right to stay in the country.
The same immigration judge said although he accepted one of them was an al Qaeda operative the pair should not be deported back to Pakistan because of the risk to their safety. They are set to be released.
Abid Naseer, the alleged ringleader, and his associate Ahmed Faraz Khan, both 23-year-old students, were arrested during raids last year in Manchester and Liverpool. The Government’s Special Immigration Appeals Commission claimed ministers had not received adequate assurances from Pakistan about how they would be treated upon their return.
Home Secretary Theresa May described today’s decision as “disappointing”.
In his ruling today, Mr Justice Mitting said MI5 believed an email sent by Naseer was code for an attack and that he agreed with the Security Service’s judgment. He added: “We are satisfied that Naseer was an al Qaeda operative who posed and still poses a serious threat to the national security of the United Kingdom.” The judge said that although it would be “conducive to the public good” to deport Naseer, he could not approve such a move because of the “long and well-documented” history of torture and mistreatment of those in detention in Pakistan.