US releases jihadist who trained 7/7 bombers
New York: Mohammed Junaid Babar, an American jihadist who had taught the process of making explosives to the 2005 London suicide bombers in his training camp, has reportedly been quietly released after serving only four and a half years of a possible 70-year sentence.
According to a New York judge, the decision was taken because of Babar’s "exceptional co-operation" that began even before his arrest, The Guardian reports.
Although a probation report dated July 09, 2010 had recommended that Babar should remain in jail for another 30 years, the US attorney`s office submitted their own report to the New York court praising Babar`s work.
"Over the last six and a half years the level of assistance provided by Babar to both the United States government and foreign governments has been more than substantial. It has been extraordinary," an extract of the report said.
The decision, however, has raised doubts whether he was a US informer during the time when he was helping to train the ringleader of the July 07 tube and bus bombings, the paper said.
As far as Babar is concerned, despite being imprisoned in 2004, his final sentencing was deferred after he pleaded guilty in a New York court to five counts of terrorism, it added.
He had reportedly set up training camp in Pakistan where Mohammad Sidique Khan and several other British terrorists had learned how to make bombs and use combat weapons. He had also admitted that he was dreaded terrorist who sponsored highest-ranking members of al Qaeda and provided them with weapons, besides planning two attempts to assassinate the former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf, the paper said.
A deal with prosecutors for the US attorney`s office wherein Babar had agreed to plead guilty and become a government support in return for a drastically reduced sentence, has earned him the latest leniency on his release, it added.
According to a court document obtained by The Guardian, Babar was sentenced to "time served" and charged USD 500 by the court in a "special assessment" fee on December 10, 2010, six years after his initial arrest and subsequent guilty plea.
The decision has outraged the victims’ family members like Graham Foulkes, a magistrate whose 22-year-old son David was killed by Khan at Edgware Road underground station in 2005.
"People get four and a half years for burglary. They can get more for some road traffic offences. So for an international terrorist who`s directly linked to the death of my son and dozens and dozens of people to get that sentence is just outrageous."
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