Neighbours of terror shopkeeper due to be let out in weeks say he should STAY locked up – and they'll 'never feel safe'

Neighbours of terror shopkeeper due to be let out in weeks say he should STAY locked up – and they'll 'never feel safe'

HORRIFIED neighbours of a terrorist shopkeeper due to be freed in weeks believe he should be locked up forever – because they will "never feel safe".

The government faces a race against time to pass emergency legislation blocking Mohammed Zahir Khan from automatically being released from prison.

Shopkeeper Khan, 42, boasted about chopping off the heads of enemies and called for a "year of fear" while posing with an ISIS flag.

He was caged in four and a half years in May 2018 for terror offences but is one of 20 jihadis due for automatic release within the next few months.

Now locals in Sunderland where he owned an off-licence have told how Khan should never be released from jail.

'HE SHOULDN'T BE FREED'

Robert Dunn, a decorator, said: "It's an absolute disgrace that he is due to be released.

"In my honest opinion I don't think he should be let out.

"I have three kids who are going to walk the same streets as he's going to walk.

"I don't think it's a good example to be setting if he gets out.

"If they get a jail sentence, they should serve the full thing."

Michael Little, 53, used to shop in the store ran by Khan, which has now been shut down.

He said: "He shouldn't be released. If he's had those thoughts before, he's going to have them again.

"While he's been in prison he's probably be radicalised again.

"He basically betrayed British people with what he did."

'DEADLIEST EVER YEAR'

Khan had promoted "lone wolf" attacks against the west, encouraged martyrdom and praised extremists for deadly attacks on American soldiers.

He also posed in front of an Islamic State flag for a profile picture.

The warped jihadi wrote Facebook messages and tweets supporting ISIS and encouraging terror attacks.

He wrote: “NOTHING wrong with chopping off heads of your enemies.”

Khan later added: “Welcome to the year of fear. IS will make this year the DEADLIEST EVER. Mr Kuffar [infidel] prepare for REAL WAR."

Posts from his Twitter also called for "Death to Shias. Wallahi death to every single one of them. Insha allah.”

'GOVERNMENT CAN'T TAKE CHANCES'

Local Theresa Haley, 53, has joined other residents in Sunderland to express her fears.

She said: "I want to feel safe on the streets. I won't feel safe if he is let out early."

While James Dunn said: "I don't think Khan should be released in a couple of weeks time.

"I think something extra needs to happen so that people who commit these kinds of offences aren't radicalised in prison.

"I believe in reform of convicts to a certain extent but I think this law should be applied as a general rule for terrorism offences.

"I don't think the government can afford to take their chances."

On Monday night, the government pledged that terrorists could be kept behind bars even after serving their full sentence after the Streatham attack.

A new law would mean offenders would only be let out if a panel of counter-terror experts deem them safe to the public.

Ministers and officials will consider the return of indeterminate sentences for terrorists as part of a review of sentencing laws announced by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland on Monday.

NEW LAWS

Separately, he announced an emergency law will be rushed through Parliament within days to end automatic early release of some 220 prisoners currently serving terror sentences.

They will only be considered for early release when they are two-thirds of the way through their sentence.

A source confirmed to Sky News the legislation will be rushed through on Tuesday with an aim to make it law on February 27 – the day before Khan’s release.

Five other offenders are set to be freed in March unless the new law gets implemented.

It comes in the wake of Sunday’s stabbing spree by Sudesh Amman, who was automatically released halfway through his 40-month sentence two weeks ago – despite authorities saying he still posed a threat to the public.

Whitehall sources said they hope to have the changes in law by the end of next week.

They said there is “a sense of urgency” as a raft of prisoners are approaching the halfway point in their sentence who, like Amman, pose a threat to the public.



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