LONDON – A terror suspect has slipped away from police surveillance by dressing as a woman.
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, 27, entered a mosque in London on Friday dressed as a man, but left in disguise wearing a burqa, the Islamic veil that covers the whole face and body.
The Somali-born man was under a court order restricting his movements because British authorities are believed to have linked him to al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group that attacked a Kenyan shopping mall in September.
The restrictions, known as Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures, are used to keep tabs on suspects where there is not enough evidence to prosecute them in court. Reports in the British media say that Mohamed attended a terror training camp in 2008 and fought on the front line in Somalia. It’s also understood that he helped others travel to Somalia, and played a role in planning attacks in the African country and overseas.
Scotland Yard say they do not consider him a direct threat, but pressure is mounting on the British government to explain the security lapse. Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to appear before the House of Commons later today.
Ports and borders are on alert, and counter terrorism officers have appealed to the public for help in tracing Mohamed, who had his passport confiscated and an electronic surveillance tag fitted as part of the court restrictions. It’s unclear if he removed or tampered with the tag.