As reported in the Yorkshire Post:
May defends her policy on terror
No one from the police or security services ever told Home Secretary Theresa May that relocating British terror suspects away from their networks would stop them travelling to Syria, she has insisted.
The Minister defended her decision to scrap relocation powers from measures designed to monitor terror suspects amid Labour claims that the move was a “mistake” that could have led to the likes of “Jihadi John” joining “Islamic State” or other groups in the Middle East.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, called for either an independent or parliamentary investigation into whether the policy change made it easier for members of a west London terror group that reportedly counted Mohammed Emwazi in its number to travel to fight abroad.
Ms Cooper said Mrs May’s decision to scrap control orders in 2012 and replace them with terror prevention and investigation measures (Tpims), which did not have relocation powers, could have made it easier for the west London group to operate.
The Labour frontbencher said that since control orders were replaced with Tpims, two terror suspects subject to the new measures escaped the security services while others being monitored also apparently left for Syria to become involved in “brutal violence”.
She said that in 2011 three individuals in the west London terror network had been relocated under control orders, 10 other named individuals and other unnamed individuals had been identified as funding and equipping terrorism and facilitating travel out of Britain.
Ms Cooper said: “You have finally restored the relocation power within the last few weeks so can you tell us – do you believe that your decision to remove relocation powers made it easier for this west London network to operate, recruit and send people to Syria?”
Mrs May replied: “You say the power to relocate has not always been there but what you fail to say is that the cases that have been raised in the media date from the time when control orders and the power of relocation were in place.
“And at no point has anybody from the police or security service said to me that if we had the power of relocation, we would be able to prevent people from travelling to Syria.”
Meanwhile, Conservative MP David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden and a former shadow home secretary, said: “You should be wary of taking advice from the Labour benches on control orders since under their regime, in the last four years of it, seven of the so-called control order subjects absconded, in some cases we know to commit jihad abroad.”
Meanwhile, the media has irresponsibly turned “Jihadi John” into a modern day Jesse James by repeatedly publishing his name and picture, a Conservative MP has insisted.
Tory Bob Stewart (Beckenham) said it was “utterly abhorrent” to see the references to Mohamed Emwazi after his unmasking last week, warning it could reinforce the belief of some that his barbaric activities were defensible.
New strategies for dealing with the threats Britain faces will be damaged by the coalition’s failure to carry out the necessary groundwork for the plans, MPs and peers warned. Ministers in the next government will have to draw up a revised National Security Strategy (NSS) in an “unnecessary rush” because ministers have not carried out the preparatory work with experts, the joint committee found.