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September 11, 2009 permalink
Three men, including Abdulla Ahmed Ali, have been convicted of a plot to blow up airplanes that could have killed thousands of people. Mr Ali was living under the same roof as a foster baby, placed with his family by Haringey (London) Council. The story says he had plans to take his own baby aboard a plane, and other sources speculate he may have planned to substitute the foster baby.
Social workers housed baby with family of terrorist
A foster child was sent to live with the family of the ringleader of the airlines bomb plot by the same council that was at the centre of the Baby P abuse case.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent, Published: 3:31PM BST 11 Sep 2009
Haringey Council placed the child with relatives of Abdulla Ahmed Ali who was found guilty of planning to kill thousands of innocent people by blowing up trans-Atlantic airliners in coordinated suicide attacks.
The child was placed in a house in Walthamstow, East London, where Ali and his wife lived along with a number of her relatives. The couple later moved out to a council flat nearby, paid for with housing benefit.
Ali was bugged discussing taking his child on the flight with him and police found a passport application for his nine month old son, although he had told an accomplice he did not think his wife would agree with the plan.
Extremist literature by Abdulla Azzam, mentor to Osama bin Laden, was found in a cot in Ali’s flat in Prospect Hill, Walthamstow.
His wife faces charges of failing to disclose information about the attack. She denies the allegations.
Ali had been under surveillance by MI5 for more than a year because of his involvement with a “facilitation” network supplying money, equipment and recruits to al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
But the council has said it was not aware of his activities and had removed the child following his arrest in August 2006.
A spokesman for Haringey said: "The placement here was made after checks and before anyone was made aware of any terrorist activity in the extended family network.
"The child was moved immediately when the police were in touch and arrests were made in 2006. The family no longer fosters for Haringey."
Sources suggested that the baby had been placed with the family partly because of a chronic shortage of Muslims foster parents.
Haringey's social services came in for severe criticism in the wake of the murder of two-year-old Peter Connolly which followed the death of Victoria Climbié in 2000.
The council's head of children's services Sharon Shoesmith was sacked, along with a social worker and three managers and the leader and cabinet member for children and young people resigned.
Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove said he was worried that the council had not learned lessons.
"It's truly frightening to think that the social services department of this council placed a child with a terrorist, and even more so to think that the child could have been used as part of the foil for the bomb plot," he said.
"Haringey council needs to make public exactly what vetting procedures it has in place to ensure that this can never happen again.
"As with the Baby Peter tragedy, there has been far too much secrecy, which raises the concern that lessons will not be learnt."
Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green said: "It beggars belief really. Haringey are just going from disaster to disaster. It's unbelievable.
"How could you put a child in the care of a family of a terrorist? What checks must they have done? The whole council needs a new administration or it will just lurch from crisis to crisis.”
Ali, 28, and two other men, Assad Sarwar and Tanvir Hussain were found guilty this week of conspiracy to murder by detonating explosives on board aircraft. They will be sentenced on Monday.
Source: Daily Telegraph