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Terrorist who recruited ISIS fighters and ‘radicalized’ Manchester Arena bomber could be FREEDOM

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A convicted terror boss and a friend of Salman Abedi, the Manchester Arena bomber, has been told he can bid for freedom.

Rochdale-born Abdalraouf Abdallah is expected to appear in probation in November and be back on the street in the new year.

The fanatic was jailed in 2016 after being found guilty of helping people travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

He was released on parole in November 2020, but returned to prison a few months later for violating strict conditions requiring good behavior.

Abdallah, now 29, was staying in an approved property at the time and the rule violations were not terror-related.

A spokesperson for the probation service said: “We can confirm that Abdalraouf Abdallah’s probation has been referred to probation by the Secretary of State for Justice and is following standard procedures.

“Probation decisions are solely focused on the risk a detainee could pose to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

Abdalraouf Abdallah (pictured), 29, was given a nine-and-a-half-year extended final sentence in 2016 after being convicted of committing terrorist acts, by facilitating travel and raising money to allow several others to participate to the civil war in Syria

“A panel will carefully examine a huge array of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behavioral change, as well as the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

“Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the run-up to a hearing.

“During the hearing, witness statements such as probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officers supervising the perpetrator in prison and personal statements from victims may be made.

‘It is common for the prisoner and witnesses to be questioned at length during the hearing, which often lasts a whole day or more. Parole reviews are conducted thoroughly and with the utmost care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.’

Abdallah was given a nine-and-a-half-year extended final sentence in 2016 after he was convicted of committing terrorist acts, facilitating travel and raising money to enable several others to participate in Syria’s civil war.

The terrorist was paralyzed from the waist down during the fighting in the 2011 Libyan revolution.

Abdallah, who was imprisoned in 2016, was visited twice by suicide bomber Abedi (pictured) in prison prior to the attack

Abdallah, who was imprisoned in 2016, was visited twice by suicide bomber Abedi (pictured) in prison prior to the attack

His trial at Woolwich Crown Court in south London learned that, from his wheelchair and mainly using a mobile phone, he arranged the transport of money and fighters to Syria.

Prosecutor Max Hill QC said one of Abdallah’s contacts in Brussels, known only as Obaida, “facilitated the movement of terrorists across mainland Europe.”

He accused him of being “at the center of a jihadist network that facilitates foreign fighters… You planned to send fighters to join groups in Syria that were committing terrorist acts in that country,” he said. .

When Abdallah was first arrested in 2014, his phone contained correspondence with Abedi about suicide and martyrdom, including the death of a high-ranking al-Qaeda figure.

Abedi then visited Abdallah in prison and communicated with him on an illegally held cell phone in early 2017 when the bomb was being prepared.

The second visit came just four months before Abedi blew himself up at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, killing 23 people, including himself and wounding 1,017.

Despite his conviction, Abdallah, from Moss Side, Manchester, continues to deny that he was an Islamic State recruiter.

Abedi visited Abdallah twice in the prison hearing the investigation.  They had talked about martyrdom and had been in touch via a mobile phone smuggled into the prison in the months leading up to the Manchester bombing on May 22, 2017 (photo: police on site).

Abedi visited Abdallah twice in the prison hearing the investigation. They had talked about martyrdom and had been in touch via a mobile phone smuggled into the prison in the months leading up to the Manchester bombing on May 22, 2017 (photo: police on site).

A radicalization expert commissioned by the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing said he believes Abdallah was responsible for “seducing Salman Abedi into the violent, Islamist, extremist worldview”.

Abdallah has denied involvement in the attack or care of Abedi, telling the investigation that he is “haunted” by the atrocity.”

He was brought from HMP Wakefield to the investigation last November to testify.

Abdallah said text exchanges with Salman Abedi – recovered in November 2014 – discussing martyrdom were “normal chatter.”

The witness denied radicalizing the attacker, saying: “I don’t even have an extreme mentality myself” and “I’m not a groomer and I wasn’t preparing Salman anything.”

Pete Weatherby QC, who represents several next of kin, said the detainee’s lengthy conversations with Salman Abedi were “about radicalisation, it was about discussing some sort of perverted death.”

New laws were introduced in February 2020 after two attacks in three months by extremists who had been released from prison.

Now criminals convicted of terrorism must serve two-thirds of their sentences in prison instead of half, and their cases are reviewed by the Parole Board before release.

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