Plans for an extra 660 armed officers in London
Siddhartha Dhar – also known as Abu Rumaysah – is thought to be the new masked terrorist fronting threats to the UK from inside Syria.
Dhar is a well-known and prolific figure among radical Islamists in London and is more prolific in the community than the man he appears to have replaced – Briton Mohammed Emwazi – who cut a more secretive figure before he went to Syria.
He disappeared in September 2014, not long after he was released on bail while under investigation for allegedly encouraging terrorism.
Police banned him from travelling and ordered him to hand in his passport. However, he boarded a coach for Paris at London’s Victoria Station, along with his wife and children.
Weeks later, he announced his arrival in Syria by posting an image online of himself holding a rifle, and his newborn and fourth child.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, ordered a police review in the wake of the Dhar blunder.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, pledged to toughen up police bail after counter-terrorism chief Mark Rowley branded it ‘weak’ and ‘toothless’.
Mr Rowley said approximately 110 terror suspects are currently on police bail.
Sir Bernard told LBC Radio’s Nick Ferrari in the wake of the Dhar revelations: “The first thing is we’re looking at the law, should that be changed?
“The second thing is, to provide some reassurance for me, is have we looked at all those other people on bail? If we’ve asked for passports, whatever we’ve done, have we pursued every one with rigour in every case?
“Or have we allowed any to slip through? We’re in the process of doing that.”
According to government statistics, at least five Islamist fanatics have left the UK while either on bail or subject to travel bans.
Firearms officers will be increased by up to a third amid fears terrorists could carry out a Paris-Style gun attack in the capital, says Sir Bernard.
Plans for up to an extra 660 armed officers in London have also been mentioned. The move is to ensure the number of firearms officers are doubled on the streets at any one time.
West Midlands Police have also said they are urgently recruiting extra armed officers because of a suspected terror threat.