IMAGE: Three fugitive terrorist suspects
Undated photos issued by police in Britain show from left, Lamine Adam, 26, Cerie Bullivant, 24, and Ibrahim Adam, 20. A manhunt has been launched for the three men, who have escaped from government monitoring.
updated 5/24/2007 7:50:40 AM ET 2007-05-24T11:50:40

Three men who escaped from monitoring under Britain’s anti-terrorist legislation planned to travel overseas to carry out violence, a key government official said Thursday.

Home Secretary John Reid, in a statement to lawmakers, said the men who disappeared earlier this week, did not represent a direct threat to the public in Britain.

“It is believed that these individuals wanted to travel abroad for terrorism-related purposes,” Reid wrote.

The men had been monitored under the control-order system, which restricts the activity of terror suspects deemed a risk to national security even though they face no charges. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government created the system after a 2004 ruling by Britain’s highest court concluded that the detention of suspects in prison without trial was unlawful.

Reid and other ministers have criticized the measures, saying they do not provide adequate protection for the public.

Two suspects related to convict
Police said two of the fugitive men, Lamine Adam, 26, and his 20-year-old brother Ibrahim, are related to Anthony Garcia, who was convicted and jailed for life last month for his part in a plot to carry out a bombing spree against targets which included a nightclub and power plants.

The third man was named as Cerie Bullivant, 24. Police said the Adam brothers failed to contact a monitoring company on Monday night, and that Bullivant did not report to his local police station on Tuesday morning.

Reid said all three men had been required to hand any travel documents and report daily to police. Two men were also required to call a monitoring company each night to verify they were at home.

The Home Office said 17 people are currently monitored under the control order system. Three other suspects who absconded from monitoring last year remain on the run, police said.

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