UK’s top al-Qaeda terror chief who plotted mass murder appeals to be released from prison BEFORE finishing deradicalisation programme
Al-Qaeda’s top British terror boss has been paroled because he is still too dangerous to be released. He must follow a deradicalisation program for a year.
Rangzieb Ahmed, then 33, was the first person convicted of directing terrorism in Britain in 2008, when a jury found him guilty of leading a three-man al-Qaeda cell preparing to carry out mass killings .
Rochdale-born Ahmed, now 47, had asked the Parole Board to recommend his release, but following a ‘paper review’ in July 2023, it was decided that he should end a new ‘regime’ he had just begun.
The ‘new regime’ will likely be a program called Healthy Identities Intervention (HII), Britain’s main prison program to challenge the thinking of terrorist offenders.
In a written summary of the decision seen by MailOnline, the Parole Board states that Ahmed had hoped his case would be heard in an ‘oral hearing’, but that was rejected by the panel.
Rochdale-born Muslim Rangzieb Ahmed was sentenced in 2008 to life, with a minimum of 10 years, for leading a three-man al-Qaeda cell that planned mass attacks.
It wrote: ‘The panel noted that Mr Ahmed was about to start working with a prison regime that helped people recognize and cope with their problems.
“The work is likely to take approximately one year to complete and the panel has determined that the current review should be completed on the basis of the written evidence, without an oral hearing.”
The panel added: ‘In making its decision, the panel has taken into account the contents of Mr Ahmed’s file prepared by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“This included current reports from Mr. Ahmed’s probation officer in the community and other assessments and documentation from the establishment.”
Under the heading ‘Risk Assessment’ it wrote: ‘Evidence was presented on file on Mr Ahmed’s progress and custodial sentence during his sentence.
As mentioned, Mr. Ahmed is about to come into contact with a specialized regime within the prison where he is. The panel noted that there had been no relevant change in risk in this case since the last review by the Parole Board.”
It concluded: ‘After assessing the circumstances of his offence, the progress made in his custody and the evidence presented on the case file, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of public.
“Mr. Ahmed will be eligible for a new parole review in due course.”
A spokesman for the Parole Board said: ‘We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has denied the release of Rangzieb Ahmed following a paperwork review.’
The 47-year-old – once said to be Osama bin Laden’s top European agent – was the first person convicted in Britain of directing terrorism
The July appeal was the second hearing on Ahmed’s parole.
The first heard in August 2022 that while Ahmed was engaged in an accredited program to tackle extremist crimes, and with religious leaders, concerns had been raised about his “attitudes, beliefs and behavior” in custody.
Last night, the Parole Board confirmed to MailOnline that Ahmed had appealed the decision to reject his application and requested an “oral hearing” before a three-person panel.
He was successful and another oral hearing will be held in the near future. Until then, Ahmed will remain in prison.
During Ahmed’s trial, he was sentenced to life, with a minimum of 10 years, after the Manchester Crown Court learned he was behind the terror cell.
Counter-terrorism leaders were unsure where Ahmed intended to strike, but were convinced an attack was imminent.
Ahmed, 47, is eligible for another parole hearing in the future
His plan came to light when three diaries were discovered, which revealed details and phone numbers of key al-Qaeda operatives written in invisible ink.
He was initially arrested by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency when he flew into the country in August 2006. He was held for a year before being deported to Britain where he was arrested.
Ahmed later sued MI5 and MI6 for alleged conspiracy in his torture by Pakistani intelligence, but in 2020 his compensation claim was rejected by the Supreme Court.
Jurors at his trial were not told about the torture allegations.
The court heard how Ahmed traveled to Dubai from Pakistan in December 2005 and was supposed to fly to South Africa as part of a “major activity,” but that plans were changed after Hamza Rabia, a senior al Qaeda leader, was assassinated. in an explosion.
Another convicted terrorist, Habib Ahmed, was called upon to collect three diaries, and the pair returned to Britain separately shortly afterwards.
Manchester detectives had already been watching the two men and bugged their hotel room in Dubai, where they had made several coded al-Qaeda references. Surveillance continued in Manchester.
Ranzieb Ahmed continued his terror plans and was arrested upon arrival in Pakistan.
Last year it was revealed in a newspaper that Ahmed had been put in solitary confinement after lying that a guard had been racist.
Officials found there was no evidence of racism after he was told to adhere to social distancing rules.
The terrorist is believed to be currently being held at HMP Buckley Hall, Greater Manchester.