MINISTERS are in a race against time to rush through emergency terror laws by February 27th – the day before the next convicted terrorist is due to be released from jail.
The offender is still considered to pose a threat to the public but like the Streatham attacker, authorities are powerless to block his release before the Government passes new legislation ending automatic early release.
That has given the Government a deadline of February 27th to pass the new law through both Houses of Parliament.
Five other terror offenders are due for release in March.
A Whitehall official said the Government is aiming to complete the House of Commons stage of the legislation by the end of next week, before Parliament breaks for a week’s recess.
That will give the House of Lords just two days to complete its own stage of the bill when Parliament returns.
Royal Assent must be received for the bill by the 27th for the authorities to have the power to end automatic early release for the terror convict on February 28th.
A Whitehall official said: “If the legislation is passed by February 27 we can prevent the automatic release of any further terrorist suspects who might pose a threat to the public.”
Convicted terrorist Sudesh Amman wore a fake suicide belt as he grabbed a knife from a shop in Streatham High Road, south London, on Sunday, before stabbing two bystanders.
The 20-year-old had been jailed for possessing and distributing terrorist documents in December 2018, but was freed automatically halfway through his sentence less than a fortnight ago.
He was put under 24-hour police surveillance on his release, and sources have described him as an “extremely concerning individual”.
On Monday, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the urgent legislation was needed to make sure offenders serve two thirds of their sentence before they are considered eligible for release, at which point their case would be considered by a panel of specialist judges and psychiatrists at the Parole Board.
There are 224 terrorists in prison in Britain, with most thought to be holding Islamist extremist views, according to the latest published figures to the end of September.
As many as 50 terrorists could be freed from jail this year, figures suggest.
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