Rochdale-born terrorist boss and friend of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi may both be released soon

A terror boss from Rochdale and a friend of Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi are among the convicted terrorists who could be released from prison in the coming months.

The cases of Rangzieb Ahmed and Abdalraouf Abdallah may come before the Probation Board in the new year.

The independent body is responsible for deciding whether it is safe to release a perpetrator from prison.

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Ahmed and Abdallah’s cases are two of the 92 active and ongoing terrorist cases that the Parole Board will assess.

Factors that are part of the board’s decision – making include intelligence from the security services.

Board members, which include judges, senior police chiefs, prosecutors, prison governors and psychiatrists, need ‘top-level security clearance’ to hear sensitive evidence.

Rangzieb Ahmed, from Rochdale, was the first person convicted in the UK of leading terrorism.

He led a three-man al-Qaeda cell that was preparing to commit mass murder.

The counter-terrorism police were not sure where he planned to strike, but were convinced that an attack was imminent.

Police found diaries he gave to another man, which contained details of top al Qaeda agents written in invisible ink.

Among the names and phone numbers in the diaries was al Qaeda’s presumed former No. 3.

In 2008, Ahmed was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve at least 10 years.

His case is expected to be settled in March.

Bomber’s friend

Islamic extremist Abdalraouf Abdallah received nine and a half years of extended, determined imprisonment in 2016 after being convicted of committing terrorist acts, by facilitating travel and raising money to enable various others to take part in the civil war in Syria.

Despite his beliefs, Abdallah from Moss Side continues to deny that he was a recruiter of Islamic State.

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi visited Abdallah in prison twice, the second visit coming four months before the atrocity.

A radicalization expert commissioned for the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing said he believed Abdallah was responsible for ‘nurturing Salman Abedi to the violent, Islamist, extremist worldview’.

Abdalraouf Abdallah showed up at the Arena investigation

Abdallah has denied being involved in the attack or caring for Abedi, and told the investigation he is ‘haunted’ by the atrocity.

Abdallah was recalled to prison for violating license terms earlier this year. He is likely to be reconsidered for release in the first half of 2022.

New laws were introduced in February last year after two three-month attacks were carried out by extremists who had been released from prison.

Now, criminals with terrorist convictions must serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison instead of half, and their cases will be reviewed by the Parole Board before release.

A spokesman for the Parole Board said: “Public protection is always our top priority.

“Every convicted felon released into society will be subject to some of the most stringent licensing conditions available, including restrictions on where they can go, who they can associate with, restrictions on Internet use, electronic devices, travel and work.

“They will also be subject to further close monitoring as part of the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa).”


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