You Can't Plea Bargain with Evil: Police Boss Defends MI5 over Jihadi John Claims; DEPUTY MAYOR HITS BACK AS CAMPAIGNERS ACCUSE BRITISH OF TURNING EMWAZI INTO TERRORIST

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 27, 2015 | Go to article overview

You Can't Plea Bargain with Evil: Police Boss Defends MI5 over Jihadi John Claims; DEPUTY MAYOR HITS BACK AS CAMPAIGNERS ACCUSE BRITISH OF TURNING EMWAZI INTO TERRORIST


Byline: Nicholas Cecil, Justin Davenport and Matt Watts

LONDON'S police chief today defended MI5's handling of the man identified as Jihadi John, saying: "You can't plea bargain with evil."

His comments came after campaigners accused the security services of driving Mohammed Emwazi, 26, into becoming a bloodthirsty extremist by allegedly harassing him after he refused to become an informant.

But Stephen Greenhalgh, London's deputy mayor for policing, told the Standard: "The security services and the police have to do all they can to protect the public and they always work together in partnership. You can't plea bargain with evil."

MI5, though, was facing mounting questions today over why it failed to keep track of a "known wolf " who managed to slip out of Britain and travel to Syria to join Islamic State.

Emwazi, unmasked yesterday as the notorious killer involved in the murders of at least six hostages in Syria, was known to MI5 for several years. He was deported from Tanzania in 2009 amid fears he was travelling to join the terror group al Shabab, and MI5 tried unsuccessfully to recruit him as an informer. The extremist, who was brought up in west London, was subject to a no fly order and was on a terror watch list but still managed to leave without detection.

He was a "person of interest" to MI5 as a member of a cell known as The London Boys, which was set up in 2007 to recruit and raise funds for Somaliabased terror group al Shabab. The security services and police came into contact with Emwazi at least a dozen times during his time in London as he became increasingly radicalised, it was claimed. MI5 will now face questions and an investigation by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee into their role in monitoring Emwazi.

Sir Menzies Campbell, a member of the committee, said the case appeared to have "echoes" of the 2013 murder of Lee Rigby, as killer Michael Adebolajo later turned out to be known to security agencies.

Jihadi John rose to notoriety in a video posted online last August, in which he appeared to kill the US journalist James Foley. …

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