21/7 terrorist Siraj Ali back behind bars after Sunday Mirror investigation
Fanatical 21/7 terrorist Siraj Ali was back behind bars last night thanks to a Sunday Mirror
Counter-terrorism officers swooped on the hate-filled extremist, 35, after we handed over damning
evidence that he was taking drugs inside a bail hostel.
Ali — graded as the highest possible risk to the public — was recalled to prison after he tested
positive for marijuana and will now spend the rest of his nine-year sentence in jail.
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The recall is a massive coup for counter-terrorism officers who were so concerned about Ali being
back on the streets that they put him under round-the-clock surveillance. He was on an MI5 list of
people under watch and the cost of monitoring him for the next few years would have run into
The bomber was jailed for 12 years, reduced to nine on appeal, for helping a gang of five Al Qaeda
suicide bombers in their bid to repeat the carnage of July 7, 2005, two weeks later.
Ali, who is foster brother of failed 21/7 bomber Yassin Omar and a friend of ringleader Muktar Said
Ibrahim, knew about the planned bombings and helped the would-be suicide killers clear up their
The judge who jailed him said that the sentence he was allowed to give him was “woefully
inadequate” as Ali had wanted his accomplices to kill hundreds.
The Sunday Mirror revealed earlier this year that he had been released after half his sentence.
There was a national outcry when a judge ruled he could not be deported back to his native Eritrea
because he could face “inhumane treatment or punishment”.
But a Sunday Mirror investigation has put Ali back where he belongs – in a top-security jail for
years to come.
The news that he is back behind bars was hailed last night by the terror chief who was in charge
of hunting the 21/7 gang behind the bungled attempt to blow up three packed Tube trains and a
Last month an associate of Aliʼs approached the Sunday Mirror, claiming the terrorist had been
using drugs since his release – a flagrant breach of his strict licence conditions. Our probe
obtained video footage in which Ali appeared to boast about smoking drugs and suggested he was
He also expressed his fear of being searched by staff at the hostel, in NorthWest London.
In one 31-second film, Ali can be seen smoking in a doorway between the hostelʼs kitchen and the
Asked if he is smoking marijuana, Ali replies: “No, itʼs B” (which is short for brown, street slang for
In a second video, Ali asks a fellow resident three times about the hostelʼs search regime. He
looks relieved after the other man tells him he does not believe staff are allowed to carry out strip
searches of hostel residents.
Ten days ago our investigators met detectives from the Metʼs counter-terrorism unit and handed
over our evidence.
Counter-terror and probation chiefs met this week to assess the videos, then decided to launch
their own operation. Police raided the hostel on Friday and ordered Ali to take a drugs test, which
showed positive for marijuana. He was immediately recalled to one of Britainʼs toughest jails.
A source said: “He had a very set routine and tight curfews because he was a high-risk terrorist.
“He didnʼt go out much but when he did he was very reluctant to talk about who he was seeing or
what he was doing.
“He would sit in the hostel and eat curries and other food made for him by someone in his family.
Then most evenings, between 11pm and midnight, he would light up a spliff with one of the other
“Then he was boasting about smoking B, which most people would take to mean heroin.”
Under the Criminal Justice Act 1991, criminals released from prison under licence are recalled if
they carry out any illegal act. Ali was under a strict curfew, had to report to a police station every
day, was not allowed to use the internet or associate with known al-Qaeda sympathisers.
Former Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, who led the hunt for the bombers, praised the
Sunday Mirrorʼs actions in getting Ali recalled.
He said: “This is an excellent example of the media, the probation service and police working
together in the public interest.
“This is a man who knew about a plot to kill members of the British public. Not only did he not stop the terrorists but he positively aided them.”
Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of probation officers union Napo, said: “The Sunday
Mirror has shown that Ali has breached his licence and as a result he was immediately recalled to
“There have been 125 terrorist convictions in the last few years and over half of those have been
“The cost of surveillance on these people is enormous and monitoring Ali would have cost
thousands of pounds every week. Many like Ali are seen as high-risk but with budget cuts there
are not enough people to monitor them in the community.