The Sun : British terror suspect flees

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

British terror suspect flees

By ONLINE REPORTER | December 17, 2007

A BRITISH terror suspect was being hunted last night after he escaped while facing moves to extradite him from Pakistan.

Rashid Rauf, from Birmingham, gave cops the slip after appearing in court in Islamabad.

He is suspected of being involved in a plot to blow up a transatlantic airliner.

He escaped after his guards stopped so he could pray, police said today.

An anonymous police official said Rauf, who is in his 20s, was being taken back to a high-security prison when he asked his police guards to let him say afternoon prayers at a roadside mosque.

The guards accepted his request and sat in their car while Rauf, still handcuffed, went into the mosque before escaping through the back door.

Rauf fled Britain soon after his uncle was stabbed to death in April 2002. He was arrested in Pakistan last year.

A Pakistan government spokesman yesterday said “every possible effort” is being made to find him.

The two officers taking him back to jail are in custody accused of negligence.

A police spokesman said: “This is very sensitive. We have formed a high-level team to investigate.”

Rauf’s father Abdul said at his Birmingham home: “I am shocked.”