LONDON -- A terrorism suspect is on the run after disguising himself as a woman by wearing a burqa, British authorities said.
Security camera images showed Somalia-born Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed entering the An-Noor Masjid and Community Centre in West London at around 10 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) Friday wearing Western-style clothes.
Th 27-year-old was last seen around five hours later.
However, police say at some point he changed into “Islamic clothing” and left the mosque unnoticed.
“The Counter Terrorism Command immediately launched inquiries to trace Mr Mohamed and these continue,” London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “Ports and borders were notified with his photograph and details circulated nationally. Public safety remains our priority.”
Mohamed is subject to a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIM) notice. These are imposed by judges after they view secret evidence that cannot be placed in front of a jury, if they have reason to believe an individual is, or has been, involved in terrorism-related activity.
The notice includes restrictions on travel and subjects are required to report daily to authorities and stay overnight at a specified address.
Mohamed is the second Somali born terror suspect subject to a TPIM, who has escaped from U.K. law enforcement in the space of the year. Ibrahim Magag, 28, disappeared last Boxing Day and he has not been seen since.
British Security Minister James Brokenshire said officials do not believe Mohamed poses a direct threat to the public.
"National security is the government's top priority and the police are doing everything in their power to apprehend this man as quickly as possible,” he added.
A spokesman for the An-Noor Masjid and Community Centre said they did not intend to comment.