International terror suspect Abu Anas al-Libi was one of up to 50 Libyans granted asylum in Britain in the mid-1990s – a fifth of who were later deemed a risk to national security.
Six were put under control orders because of the threat they posed while efforts were made to remove others from the country.
The picture emerged in documents discovered in the British ambassador’s residence in Tripoli in 2011 following the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime.
Many of those who were granted asylum were, like al-Libi, members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which at the time was an enemy of Gaddafi and therefore arguing they would be persecuted if they were returned.
The LIFG was designated a terrorist organisation by the UN following the 9/11 attacks but the Britain did not ban the group until after the so-called “deal in the desert” between then Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gaddafi in 2004.
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Robin Simcox is a Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society