Page last updated at 12:32 GMT, Friday, 25 May 2007 13:32 UK

Control order absconder named

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
Zarqawi: Control order man allegedly in same network

The BBC has won a court action to publicise the name of a terrorist suspect who went missing in 2006.

Bestun Salim, an Iraqi with alleged links to a now dead insurgent leader, went missing from Manchester in August after he breached his control order.

He was the first of six men on the house arrest regime to have disappeared and is thought to have gone overseas.

The government has publicised the names of three other suspects who have absconded while under control orders.

The control order system allows the government to put terrorism suspects under a form of house arrest where it says a prosecution is not possible - but it has intelligence that they pose a threat.

In July 2006 Mr Salim, then only known as LL, became the first person to be charged with seven breaches of a control order.

In separate proceedings, the Court of Appeal quashed that control order, saying it was too restrictive because he was required to remain in his flat for 18 hours a day. The Home Office revised the control order, but Mr Salim disappeared before police acted.

Links to insurgents

The BBC challenged the government's decision to maintain LL's anonymity. On Friday the government dropped its objections to that challenge because it believes Mr Salim has left the country. He has been banned from returning.

Ibrahim Adam, Lamine Adam and Cerie Bullivant
Absconded: Three other men disappeared earlier this week

According to official papers, the government accused Mr Salim of being an Iraqi Kurd raising funds for major insurgent groups fighting US and British forces in the country. He was originally held under immigration powers pending deportation.

He was accused of being a member of Ansar al-Islam, a group linked to the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born militant who became Iraq's most notorious insurgent leader before his death in June 2006.

The militant was thought responsible for organising a string of suicide bombings and the beheading of western hostages.

The home secretary alleged that Mr Salim would have continued to raise funds unless steps were taken to restrict both his movements and who he was allowed to meet.

For his part, Mr Salim said he was not Iraqi - and further denied that was even his real name.

He told the security services that he was another man of Iranian background who had no connections to the Iraqi insurgency.

Mr Salim disappeared after the Court of Appeal quashed his original control order in a key legal ruling in August 2006. That ruling found that the control orders against six men infringed the right to liberty because of the restrictions placed on their movements.

The original order included electronic tagging, an 18-hours-a-day home curfew, vetting of visitors, bans on meetings outside his home without permission and restrictions on how he can communicate with others.

Mr Salim was also required to allow spot police searches and was banned from contacting a specific list of people suspected of being part of his alleged network.

Q&A: Control orders
01 Feb 10 |  UK
Terrorism suspects still at large
11 Dec 06 |  UK Politics

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