Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HARINGEY SENT CHILD TO LIVE WITH BOMBER; FOSTER BLUNDER BY BABY P COUNCIL; BIN LADEN BOOK WAS IN BABY'S COT; He Planned to Use a Child in Airline Bomb Plot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HARINGEY SENT CHILD TO LIVE WITH BOMBER; FOSTER BLUNDER BY BABY P COUNCIL; BIN LADEN BOOK WAS IN BABY'S COT; He Planned to Use a Child in Airline Bomb Plot

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Gilligan

EXCLUSIVE

THE COUNCIL at the centre of the Baby P scandal sent a foster child to live with the ringleader of the airline bomb plotters, the Standard can reveal.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali lived in the same house as relatives who were approved as official foster carers by the council and given a child by Haringey social workers even as Ali plotted mass murder. The child was with Ali's family in Walthamstow at the time of his arrest in August 2006 and was only removed afterwards.

Police found extremist literature, including a book by Abdullah Azzam, a key mentor of Osama bin Laden, hidden in a baby's cot at the house.

Ali, 28, and two of his henchmen were this week convicted of planning to blow up as many as seven civilian aircraft in a crime which police said would have caused carnage on an "unprecedented scale".

Haringey may have even unwittingly supplied Ali with an element of camouflage for the plot - and risked the child being murdered with his other would-be victims. According to evidence at the trial, Ali and his co-conspirators discussed taking children on board the flights to allay the suspicions of security staff. It is not clear whether the Haringey foster child was among the children he proposed to use.

Ali's wife, Cossor, 26, has also been charged under anti-terror laws for allegedly failing to inform authorities of the plot. However, she strongly asserts her innocence.

Other members of Ali's extended family have also been investigated or had their assets frozen in connection with the bomb plot. One source said: "A desperate shortage of Muslim foster families may have been a factor. Muslim children can only be placed with people of the same faith and the need to find foster parents could mean that corners were cut in the vetting process."

In a statement, Haringey council said: "The placement here was made after checks and before anyone was made aware of any terrorist activity in the extended family network. …

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