Nick Collins – Telegraph.co.uk February 14, 2011
American Mohammed Junaid Babar walked free just four and a half years into a sentence that could have lasted as long as 70, prompting claims he may have been acting as an informant.
The decision to sentence him to “time served” due to what a New York judge termed his “exceptional co-operation” dating back to before his arrest led to suggestions Babar could have been helping US authorities even while helping to train the man who led the 2005 attacks on London. (Emphasis added)
Babar had admitted being a jihadist connected with senior al-Qaeda figures as he pleaded guilty to five counts of terrorism in a New York court in 2004.
He agreed to plead guilty and become a supergrass for the government in exchange for a significantly shortened sentence in a deal with American prosecutors, The Guardian reported.
Babar’s release was compared by lawyers acting on behalf of the families of victims to the decision to let Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, leave prison.
As well as founding the terrorist training camp in Pakistan where Mohammad Sidique Khan was among those taught to make explosives, he helped plan two assassination attempts on the country’s former president, Pervez Musharraf.
According to court documents Babar was sentenced to “time served” in court on December 10, six years after being arrested.
He had spent slightly more than four years in prison and two years on bail.
Clifford Tibber, the lawyer acting for the families of those who died or survived the London bombings in 2005, said: “Babar admitted setting up and funding training camps attended by the 7/7 bombers.
“When the British government released Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber who received a life sentence, on compassionate grounds after eight years the Americans were furious. Imagine how the bereaved and the survivors will feel about [Babar’s] paltry sentence.”