UK extremist who plotted mass murder denied parole

Islamist Rangzieb Ahmed, 47, was sentenced to prison for directing terrorism and will be eligible for another parole hearing in future

Rangzieb Ahmed's scheme was revealed with the discovery of three diaries. PA
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The former leader of an extremist cell, who became the first person to be convicted in the UK of directing terrorism, will remain behind bars after being denied parole.

Islamist Rangzieb Ahmed, 47, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 10 years in 2008 for planning a terror attack.

The UK Parole Board said in its written decision that while Ahmed, who was born in Rochdale, had engaged with an accredited programme to address extremist offending, as well as with religious leaders, concerns had been raised about his “attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour” in custody.

The Parole Board panel considered evidence from Ahmed’s probation officers, prison officials, psychologists, a former police officer, a professor of Arabic, and Ahmed himself.

The panel also examined a proposal for Ahmed to live in “designated accommodation” with strict limitations placed on his contacts, movements, and activities.

However, they decided that the plan was not “robust” enough to manage Ahmed in the community.

He will be eligible for another parole hearing in future.

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At Ahmed’s 2008 trial, the jury heard how he headed a three-man Al Qaeda cell, which was preparing to commit mass murder.

Counter-terrorism chiefs were not sure where Ahmed was planning to strike, but were convinced an attack was imminent, his trial heard.

His scheme was revealed with the discovery of three diaries, which were found to contain details and phone numbers of key Al Qaeda operatives written in invisible ink.

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He later sued MI5 and MI6 for alleged collusion in his torture by Pakistani intelligence, but last year had his damages claim thrown out by the High Court.

Ahmed had claimed he was tortured at the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency while detained between 2006 and 2007, before being deported to the UK and charged with terrorism offences.

Updated: August 10, 2022, 9:55 PM