Britain's former intelligence chief is calling on Scotland Yard to sever ties with an anti-terror advisor after the Times of London reported the advisor is wanted by Interpol for his work with an alleged Tunisian extremist movement.
Mohamed Ali Harrath has been subject to a "red notice," which roughly equates to being on a most wanted list, since 1992. Harrath was a founder of the Tunisian Islamic Front, which Tunisian officials say seeks to create "an Islamic state by means of armed revolutionary violence."
The Interpol notice indicates Harrath is wanted for "Counterfeiting/forgery, crimes involving the use of weapons/explosives, terrorism," the Times reports.
British authorities rejected a Tunisian extradition request in 1997. Then they went a step further, hiring Harrath as an advisor in the Scotland Yard Muslim Contact Unit to help prevent terrorism and extremism, the Times reports.
Baroness Neville-Jones, the country's former intelligence chief, said Harrath had to be let go and offered a series of pointed questions on Monday:
"Did the Home Office access this information before allowing Mohamed Ali Harrath to enter, and did the Metropolitan Police check it before allowing him to work for them? If not, why not? If they did access Interpol's data, how could the Home Office let in and the Met employ an individual with a Red Notice for alleged links to a suspected terrorist organisation?"
Harrath denies that the Tunisian Islamic Front has any terrorist connection and argues Tunisia trumped up charges against him. The Times interviewed Tunisia's justice minister, who said that while in London, Harrath sent Islamic Front recruits to terrorist camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Harrath called those "completely outrageous and false" allegations. The newspaper notes that he "refuses, however, to discuss what he did between 1995 and 2000 in Britain."