London Bridge killer Usman Khan was released from prison in December last year for his part in a plot hatched in Cardiff’s Roath Park to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
It has now been revealed that six of the eight men who were jailed alongside him have been released from prison, among a total of 74 terrorists who have been released early from prison sentences.
Khan killed two people and injured a further three after stabbing them at a prisoners’ rehabilitation seminar held at Fishmongers’ Hall near London Bridge on Friday.
Jack Merritt, 25, a course coordinator for Learning Together, which was hosting the seminar, and Saskia Jones, 23, who was also attending died. Their families have both paid tribute in statements here.
Khan was shot dead by armed police after the attack and detectives believe he was working alone.
In the plot for which he was first jailed, Khan and eight other jihadists planned to blow up the London Stock Exchange and kill Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a 2010 plot drawn up by al-Qaeda.
Only two of them remain in jail, it is believed. One was convicted of another terrorist plot and another is still serving his sentence for the Stock Exchange bomb plot. As Khan was shot dead by police on Friday, that leaves six out there on the streets, the Daily Mail reports.
Mohammad Shahjahan, of Burmarsh Walk, Stoke, and Nazam Hussein, of Grove Street, Stoke, were given indefinite prison terms along with Khan, but the trio appealed against the sentence in 2013 and won so were given fixed terms instead.
Former press inquiry chair Lord Justice Leveson said all three had been ‘wrongly characterised’ as more dangerous than the others so allowed their appeal.
He wrote: “Although we recognise that training terrorists in the use of firearms could only lead to potential loss of life… the fulfilment of that goal was further removed and there were other obstacles.”
Instead of the indeterminate sentences, Shahjahan was given 17 years and eight months and Khan and Hussain 16 years each.
All were also handed down five-year extended licence periods.
Khan was let back on to the streets last December after serving half of his fixed sentence. The other two have also been freed.
Shah Mohammed Rahman of St Bernard’s Road, Newham; Omar Sharif Latif, of Neville Street, Cardiff; Gurukanth Desai of Albert Street, Cardiff; and Abdul Malik Miah of Ninian Park Road, Cardiff, have also been freed onto the streets.
Mohibur Rahman was thrown back in prison in 2017 for planning a ‘Lee Rigby-style’ terror attack against the police or military.
And Mohammed Moksudur Choudhury is still in jail according to a report by the Daily Telegraph .
However, there are no further details as to why he has been made to serve longer than half his sentence.
At their Woolwich Crown Court trial jurors heard how they were arrested in 2010 for planning an al-Qaeda-style attack to detonate a bomb at the London Stock Exchange.
In addition, a hand-written list found at one of their homes also included the names and addresses of Boris Johnson, who was then Mayor of London, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, two rabbis, and the US Embassy in London.
Khan, who was 20 at the time and lived in Stoke-on-Trent, was bugged by security forces who heard him talking about plans to recruit radicals in the UK for a training camp in Kashmir.
The trial heard he also spoke about plans for a firearms training camp disguised as a legal Islamic school
Other members of the group based in Cardiff and London spoke about launching a ‘Mumbai-style’ attack, while extremists in Stoke discussed setting off pipe bombs in the toilets of two pubs in their town.
A mobile phone seized from an address of one of the plotters linked the group to radical preacher Anjem Choudary.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said the jihadists had ‘decided that ultimately they would be responsible for very serious acts of terrorism’.
Sentencing all nine on February 9, 2012, Mr Justice Wilkie, said the plot was a ‘serious, long-term venture in terrorism’ that could also have resulted in atrocities in Britain.
They were sentenced under a 2003 law which said people given extended sentences would be released on licence at the midway point.
Khan served eight years in jail taking into account the 408 days he spent on remand before his trial.
The Parole Board said it had played no role in Khan’s early release.
A statement released on Saturday said: “The terrorist ‘appears to have been released automatically on license (as required by law), without ever being referred to the board.”
The law covering extended sentences was changed in December 2012, but Leveson used the previous law in the appeal as it was the one used at the original sentence.
Neil Basu, the UK head of counter-terrorism policing, said he believed Khan had adhered to an “extensive list of licence conditions” following his early release.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that axing the early release programme would have stopped Khan.
Mr Johnson said: “What I have seen has made me angry – it’s absolutely clear that we can’t carry on with the failed approaches of the past.’
“If you are convicted of a serious terrorist offence, there should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years – and some should never be released.
“Further, for all terrorism and extremist offences the sentence announced by the judge must be the time actually served – these criminals must serve every day of their sentence, with no exceptions.
“These simple changes, in line with what I’ve been saying since becoming Prime Minister, would have prevented this attack.”
The Ministry of Justice is now reviewing the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist released from jail – around 70 people.