Monday, 20 December 2010

Stockholm bomber: banned extremists recruit near Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly's Luton home

The outlawed Islamist group al-Muhajiroun is openly recruiting near the home of the suicide bomber who blew himself up on a Stockholm street last week, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Mohammed Quayyum Khan, left, is alleged to recruit terrorists. Stockholm bomber: banned extremists recruit near Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly's Luton home
MI5 and anti-terrorist police are attempting to unravel what transformed the father of three into an extremist.
But moderate Muslims in Luton, where Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab lived for almost 10 years, claim the authorities are to blame for turning a blind eye to the activities of hard-core jihadi sympathisers.
Unimpeded by the police, the group, now calling itself The Reflect Project, is accused of mounting a campaign of intimidation and violence against those who disagree with it.
The group's members are followers of the radical cleric Omar Bakri Muhammad, who is being held in jail in Lebanon on terrorism charges, and are led locally by Ishtiaq Alamgir or Sword of Islam – a former inland revenue accountant.
Earlier this year, Mr Alamgir helped to organise a protest at a homecoming parade in Luton for troops who had served in Afghanistan. The demonstration ended in violence and arrests.
It is illegal to be a member of Bakri's organisation after it was outlawed for glorifying terrorism and for outspoken statements praising the "magnificent" September 11 hijackers.
But Bakri's supporters still regularly set up a stall on the high street near Abdulwahab's family home to try to recruit more young Muslims to their cause.
Last week, gathered around a trestle table after Friday prayers, Mr Alamgir and a dozen other activists handed out anodyne Introduction to Islam leaflets before quickly disappearing when approached by this newspaper.
Carefully written, apparently to avoid breaching anti-terrorism laws, the leaflet's purpose appeared to be to direct prospective recruits to a website containing inflammatory speeches by Bakri and articles against "the terrorist activities of Britain".
Some claim the group was involved with Abdulwahab, whose "will" told his wife and children he had lived for "the last four years with the secret of being mujahid or, as you call it, terrorist".
The group described Abdulwahab, who studied at the town's university, as a "lone wolf" and denied having anything to do with him.
The group, whose members use an ever-changing variety of names, has been holding rallies in community halls where, until his recent arrest, it was addressed by Bakri over an internet link.
Residents in the mainly Muslim Bury Park area claim Abdulwahab attended these meetings and complain that the government ban has not stopped the group or led to any police action against it.
Despite public money from the previous government's anti-radicalisation "Prevent" scheme, which is currently under review by the Coalition, MI5 and the police appear to be getting little help or intelligence from the community. It is claimed much of the cash distributed by Prevent in Luton – reported to be £554,000 since 2008 – has either been squandered on schemes not designed to tackle extremists or is the subject of investigations over financial irregularities.
The Luton Islamic Centre, where Abdulwahab prayed and which forced him out when he attempted to preach about his radical views, admits it did not inform the police.
"We try to work with the extremists, rather than force them underground," a spokesman said yesterday.
Others dismiss the police as powerless. They talk about how an alleged terrorist recruiter, Mohammed Quayyum Khan, known as "Q", moves around the town unimpeded.
Mr Khan has been named in Parliamentary reports and at the Old Bailey and was accused of arranging for the 7/7 plot leader Mohammed Sidique Khan to attend a terrorist training camp. However, he has never been charged with any offence and last week was still working as a minicab driver in Luton, taking children on the "school run" and ferrying hotel guests to the town's busy international airport.
Another local radical is a Pakistani man in his twenties known as Charlie who, it is claimed, has been banned from Britain on national security grounds.
After being recruited in the town, Charlie, who attended a local school and whose family remain in Luton, is now believed to be in Islamabad "driving around in an expensive Land Cruiser with access to lots of money", according to one friend. Others talk darkly of his links to "senior" people in al-Qaeda.
"We fear for our children and the influence these people have on them," said Mohammed Bashir, of the Khadmit welfare centre, whose office is just along the road from where al-Muhajiroun set up its "recruitment centre".
"I have received death threats, threatening phone calls. They have been trying to intimidate me. Threatening violence, threatening to come to my home. They are only a small group, some 20 or 30 people. I even know some of their families. But they won't listen to reason.
"We tell our youngsters not to speak to them, but you cannot watch after your young people all the time. They go to school and to university and it is here that these idiots try to influence them, try to convince them to join them, to spread their hatred."
Qurban Hussain, a local councillor and former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, has also had death threats and has been physically attacked. "During the last election campaign a group of them surrounded my car. They were banging on the windows, shouting abuse and chanting slogans. They think democracy is un-Islamic.
"All the time they were filming it. They were shouting and screaming at me and filming me inside my car – then they put it on the internet. It was so intimidating. I go to Pakistan regularly to see my family and friends. I wondered whether the video was meant for someone there. A message to them saying: 'Here is an unbeliever – deal with him'."
Mr Hussain said the group also stops people attempting to vote. "They will obstruct you, bully and harass you. Throughout the election I was constantly followed, harassed and chanted at. They try to intimidate you and anyone you come across. They do the same to anyone they disagree with."
He said on another occasion a local al-Muhajiroun activist confronted him on the street and allegedly threatened to kill him. "I know the boy. I know his father. But he threatened to kill me," he said. "I reported it to the police but they didn't pursue it."
He said his campaign offices were also attacked, daubed with paint and his posters pulled down. "Last May, on the day of the election they gathered outside my house. They pushed and shoved me and my supporters. There was a scuffle. I feared there was going to be serious violence. My neighbours came out on the streets. People were threatened on the way to the polling station."
Mr Hussain said he had stopped reporting the incidents to the police. "It's a waste of time. They spend two hours taking your statement and then they do nothing."
The father of one activist spoke to The Sunday Telegraph last week. He did not want to be named, apparently afraid of the reaction of his son and his friends. He said: "He will not listen to me. He is not in my control. He once cared about his education, getting a job, helping his community. Now he is lost."
The community has tried to take the law into its own hands. The mosques have confronted them. There are reports of minor scuffles and the al-Muhajiroun activists are now not welcome to pray at any of the local mosques as a group. They are also banned from preaching or trying to recruit people outside the prayer halls.
Instead they set up a table near to Barclays Bank to hand out their literature, welcoming anyone who shows an interest. They talk about Palestine, detention at Guantánamo Bay, and Iraq and Afghanistan. They show jihadi films and invite people to go to a café for a chat and a soft drink. Some call it "grooming".
"Anyone who disagrees is abused. There is no debating with them. They call me a hypocrite," said Mr Hussain, who will be sworn in at the House of Lords in the next few weeks after being awarded a peerage by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister.
"They are trying to brainwash the young. Fill them with hatred. Something needs to be done to stop them. They are supposedly banned, yet no one is prepared to tackle them, to breach their rights, their freedom of speech."
The Islamic Centre, the Masjid al-Ghurabaa, attended by Abdulwahab until 2007, also claims it has nothing to do with the radicals in Luton. It claims al-Muhajiroun is banned from the mosque and has been since 2000.
Teachings on the mosque's website are radical, many would say extreme. They include a defence of the flogging of a 19-year-old gang-rape victim in Saudi Arabia, and sermons by Abu Usamah at Thahabi, a cleric who has said: "Take that homosexual man and throw him off the mountain."
Yet the mosque condemns Abdulwahab's attack as "against God" and says it too is "sick" of the al-Muhajiroun activists, who it claims are "protected by the police". The mosque has been distributing its own Refuting Extremism pamphlets attacking the followers of radical clerics including Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, both of whom are held in British jails on terrorism charges.
Farasat Latif, the mosque secretary, said: "These extremists cause us nothing but problems. People associate our mosque with them although we have nothing to do with them. Their activities led to a firebomb attack on our mosque which caused £40,000 of damage.
"We have had physical confrontations with them but the police warn us that we will be arrested if we take the law into our own hands."
Last night a spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said the force was doing all it could to combat extremism. She said it was working with the community "to safeguard individuals (and) build resilience ... against violent extremism and radicalisation". She added: "We continue to undertake work under the national Prevent agenda ... to address any type of extremism."
Police, she said, would "thoroughly investigate complaints received about a small group who give out leaflets in the Luton area and actively gather evidence".
This evidence, she added, was being passed to the Crown Prosecution Service but that "at this time there (had been) no breach of the law or any proscribed order".
She added: "The powers given to the police under the order are very limited. We will continue to constantly monitor the situation and would urge anyone who believes they have witnessed an offence to come forward."
Mr Alamgir refused to answer any questions and failed to return calls left on his mobile telephone.
Last night Anjem Choudary, a former solicitor who founded al-Muhajiroun with Bakri, denied that the group had anything to do with Abdulwahab. He said: "He was a lone wolf. He was nothing to do with my brothers in Luton. We knew nothing about him or his activities."
Regarding the accusations levelled against the group in Luton, he added: "It is not true that we are intimidating Muslims. But we do take action against those involved in elections. We don't think that elections have any part of being a Muslim. These people are self serving. They are involved with the Government and the local councils and we believe it is right to disrupt them."
He said he did not believe that his "brothers" had done anything wrong when they chanted and shouted at election candidates. "They are part of the government," he said. Asked why local mosque elders made similar allegations, he added: "These people are trying to win support from the Government or get money from the local authorities. We oppose this."

Monday, 13 December 2010

Russian 'spy': Foreigners who worked for the MP

Investigations editor Jason Lewis explores the background of the foreign aides hired by the MP at the centre of the spy storm

Ekaterina Zatuliveter, 25, is 'a sharp cookie' said Mr Hancock Photo: EAST2WEST
A Romanian businessman who supplies staff for an airbase linked to the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme and military equipment to his country’s armed forces once worked for the MP at the centre of the Westminster spy scandal.
Calin Huma is one of a number of eastern Europeans who have worked as a researcher for Mike Hancock, whose Russian parliamentary assistant Ekaterina Zatuliveter was arrested last week after a six-month investigation by MI5.
A Sunday Telegraph investigation can reveal that the 25-year-old, who has been served with a deportation order on national security grounds, is one of at least six foreign nationals – several from former Eastern Bloc countries – who have worked for Mr Hancock since he became an MP in 1997.
The first of them was Mr Huma, a Romanian-born politics student, who got an unpaid job with the Liberal Democrat shortly after leaving Southampton University in 1999. Mr Huma worked for Mr Hancock in the Commons and at his constituency office in Portsmouth for two years, and at the same time set up his first business, Anglo-Romanian Consultancy, to try to arrange trade deals between the two nations.
The company never filed accounts and was wound up in 2006, but Mr Huma continued working as an “international trade adviser” and “political consultant”, dividing his time between Britain and Romania.
In November 2004, he and Mr Hancock were photographed in Constanta, Romania, where, according to newspaper reports, the MP was leading a delegation from the Council of Europe and Mr Huma was representing a company supplying computer software for railways.
Mr Huma now runs a series of firms specialising in political advice, representation and lobbying; and in supplying military equipment, nuclear, biological and chemical protection hardware, and the “management of weapon platforms”.
One of his companies sells civilian and military helicopters, and another supplies “technical support and spares for the Romanian navy’s Type 22 frigates”. The ships that were purchased as surplus from the Royal Navy for £116 million in 2003 were later the subject of corruption claims investigated by the Serious Fraud Office in BAE, the UK arms manufacturer at the centre of the deal. BAE admitted two criminal charges and paid £286 million in fines to resolve the investigation but denied bribery and its settlement with the UK and US prosecutors did not include any admission of corrupt payments.
IDS Operations, based in Eastleigh, Hampshire, organises an English course in Romania for staff at the Mihail Koga˘lniceanu Air Base, which is alleged to be one of the sites involved in the CIA’s network of “extraordinary renditions”. The base was alleged to have been used by aircraft identified as belonging to the CIA’s fleet of rendition planes.
And a fax, reportedly intercepted by Swiss intelligence and allegedly sent by a senior Egyptian official, also said the base was used by the US to detain at least 23 Iraqi and Afghan captives. It was said to be one of a number of European secret prisons located in Poland, Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria – known as “black sites” – where prisoners were taken for interrogation.
Companies House reveals little detail about Mr Huma’s businesses. His holding company, INDES Group, shows no income; another firm, HMS Investments, reported a turnover of £158,128 last year, while INDES Limited shows it had made a £168,693 loss. Mr Huma and his wife Claudia, live in a modest house brought for £179,000 in 2003.
Last night, Mr Huma said he remembered fondly his time working for Mr Hancock. He said: “My time was very limited. I was just helping with clerical activities and letters to constituents. After I left university, I was deeply involved in work and lost the connection with Mr Hancock.
“I got my job because I was interested in politics. I applied for work experience. I never got paid. It was a simple process.”
Asked about Mr Hancock’s current researcher’s problems, he said: “I haven’t spoken to him since the general election, so I don’t know how he is taking all of this. I should make it clear that [in my time] I was never in front of any interesting or any sensitive information. I don’t know whether she [Ekaterina Zatuliveter] would have been in that position. I don’t think MPs have direct access to sensitive information. I don’t think as a researcher you would get access to very much.
“There were very precise procedures in the House on how you deal with papers, so I don’t think anyone would be able to get access to such information. I certainly didn’t.”
Asked about his trip to Romania with Mr Hancock in 2004, Mr Huma initially said he could not remember it. But told there was a photograph of the two of them together, he said: “What I can tell you is that, at some point, I was in Romania, and Mr Hancock was [there] working for various European bodies. The circumstances when we have been together were always official.”
Today, he said, his companies specialise in helping UK firms win business in Romania. He also confirmed his role supplying staff to the controversial Mihail Koga˘lniceanu Airport, but said he had no idea if it had been used for CIA flights.
He added that his firm helped train local staff who did “key but low-level” service jobs at the base, but said all “needed to speak English” in order to work there. He said he had heard “no gossip” about its role and added: “What happens inside is nothing to do with me.”
Regarding Mr Hancock, he added: “He was always a beacon of morality in a world which is crazy. I have met him only on very official circumstances surrounded by many people. I wish I would have had the honour to work closer with him.”
Others who have worked for Mr Hancock at the Commons include Bethany Torvell, who worked alongside Ekaterina Zatuliveter earlier this year. She is now a visiting tutor at Goldsmiths College and runs The Phoenix Think Tank, which specialises in defence industry analysis.
Greek-born international relations graduate Marianna Ventouratou worked for the MP until 2003, before going to work for the Centre for Economic Policy in London and at the department of international development at Oxford University.
She is now living in York with her university lecturer husband and two children. Last night she said: “I have a very positive impression of my months at the House of Commons and of Mike Hancock. I was very 'fresh’ in the UK, so I was just getting my head around things. I did find Mike Hancock very open-minded for hiring a foreign intern.”
A Serbian-born researcher Nevena Marjanovic worked for Mr Hancock in 2008 and 2009, again alongside Ms Zatuliveter, followed by Greek graduate Christina Kaiseroglou, who had been a trainee at the European Security and Defence Assembly, and Myriam Chieb-Bouares, who now works at the Carbon Trust encouraging businesses and governments to reduce carbon omissions.
Last week, well-placed sources told The Sunday Telegraph it was feared that Ms Zatuliveter had been acting as a “talent-spotter” for the SRV, Russia’s foreign intelligence service.
It is understood that the MI5 investigation was sparked by a tip-off that the young Russian may have been compiling secret dossiers on British government officials that could be used by the Russians to blackmail them into supplying secrets.
Last night, Mr Hancock again dismissed any suggestion that Ms Zatuliveter had been doing anything wrong. He said: “These suggestions are all news to me. I don’t do Commons receptions and the like. That sort of thing is not my cup of tea at all. I don’t believe for one minute that she has done anything wrong. I only know what she has told me.
“All I know is that she could have gone home any time. They never took her passport away from her. They haven’t even taken her computer off her or her [mobile] telephone. All I understand is what she tells me. She said, 'What should I do?’ I said, 'Have you done anything wrong?’ She said, 'No, I haven’t.’ I said, 'OK, then, you have to see it through the system. The British system is a good one. It is not like yours [in Russia], and people are not treated in this way.’ And she accepted that. But this is the end result.”
He said he had visited her at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre, where she is being held. He said she was bearing up and was not unhappy about where she was being held.
But he added: “Nothing is OK when you have had your freedom denied.”
Asked about his relationship with Mr Huma, he added: “Calin and I have known each other for a long time. I have no connections with his business, I never have, and I’ve never had any money from him in any circumstances whatsoever. I have never done any professional work for him.”

Defiant Charles and Camilla: we won't be cowed

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have made it clear they will not be cowed by last week's attack by rioters.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have made it clear they will not be cowed by last week's attack by rioters.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's evening of Royal Variety entertainment was marred when their Rolls-Royce limousine was attacked by a protester  Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham
The Sunday Telegraph understands that the royal couple want to carry on with "business as usual". Although they found the assault intimidating, they will not be scaling back their public engagements or abandoning walkabouts.
A royal aide said both the Prince and the Duchess would remain as "visible" as ever during public engagements.
"Their default position is to get out there and get on with the job. It is absolutely business as usual.
"The Prince will leave it up to the security people to make sure that they are secure and the public are secure wherever they go, but they will crack on," the aide said.
The Sunday Telegraph can also report that:
* Sources close to Buckingham Palace hope the violence will see off plans to scale back police protection for members of the Royal family.
* An internal Metropolitan Police report has highlighted the red tape that hinders preparations for public demonstrations.
* Police leaders are calling on the Government to consider making water cannon available for future protests.
Officers yesterday issued photographs of 14 individuals from last Thursday's protests, some of whom were wanted in connection with the attack on the royal convoy in Regent Street.
Royal sources said the couple maintained full confidence in the ability of the police to bring those responsible for the attack to justice.
They also insisted that the couple remained "extremely supportive" of their police protection officers, and blamed the incident on the rioters, and not the police.
The Prince is said to be awaiting the results of an inquiry by Scotland Yard before making any further decisions about his security.
There has been speculation that the Prince may have overruled his security staff concerning the route taken to the Royal Variety Performance, but this newspaper understands that he accepted decisions made by his security team.
Scotland Yard earlier this year suggested cutting millions of pounds from the budget for protecting the Royal family, but last week's attack is likely to be used as leverage by those opposed to the cuts.
A source close to Buckingham Palace said: "We were very concerned about the proposals to cut back on protection. If one good thing comes out of this ghastly incident, let it be that those proposals are dropped."
The Sunday Telegraph can also disclose that police tackling public disorder are facing an unwieldy bureaucracy involving committees of senior officers, community liaison teams and lawyers. An internal report, distributed the day before the protests, exposes how the Metropolitan Police's specialist CO11 Public Order team is mired in red tape.
The document, written by Lynne Owens, an assistant Met commissioner, highlights how at least nine separate commands within the police service have to give their views when planning how to deal with any potential disorder.
Police leaders have urged the authorities to consider making water cannon available for the first time on the British mainland.
One senior source at the Police Federation said the rioting in central London would have come to a much earlier conclusion if protesters had been given a "good soaking".
Julie Spence, a former chief constable, agreed that the use of water cannon should be part of any public order review.
Paul Davies, who heads the Police Federation's operational policing committee, said the measure "would certainly be controversial but it comes back to protecting members of the public and allowing police officers to do their jobs".
Questions remain about why the royal couple were driven to the Royal Variety Performance in a conspicuous, 20ft-long limousine.
A senior security source said: "We may make recommendations for the future that will say 'safety first' and in these situations use a more manoeuvrable, more secure car."
The route taken by the royal convoy was checked by motorcycle outriders for an hour before the Prince and the Duchess left Clarence House, the source said. But once the route had been decided there was a period of "minutes" when the riders returned to Clarence House to collect the convoy, meaning no officers were keeping tabs on developments in Regent Street.
Alan Johnson, the former home secretary, yesterday told BBC Radio 4 he was "amazed" by yesterday's report in The Daily Telegraph that protection officers guarding the royal couple were using radios on a different channel from those dealing with the student riots.
"In my experience they are really meticulous about ensuring that the route ahead is well known and that they avoid these kinds of incidents," he added.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Immigration advisers

Government to review future of immigration advisers

The Government is reviewing the future of thousands of licensed immigration advisers after an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph found that they are poorly-trained, under-regulated and sometimes break the law.

The Government's cap on immigration is being undermined by a surge in foreign workers who are exempt from new visa rules, official figures have shown.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May walk through Terminal 5 during a visit to UK Border Agency staff at Heathrow Airport Photo: RUEUTERS
This newspaper found that it was straightforward for unqualified applicants to set themselves up as officially-sanctioned advisers, leaving the door open for unscrupulous individuals attempting to cash in on the large number of foreigners coming to Britain.
Once registered, advisers can appear in court for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, and sometimes be paid from the public purse under the Legal Aid scheme.
In one case an officially-approved adviser has been allowed to continuing practising while facing a police inquiry into his activities. Several others have also been caught acting illegally this year, and at least one has been jailed.
Last night senior Government sources confirmed that Theresa May, the Home Secretary, had ordered a review of the system to ensure those who break the law are barred from practising.
And it is understood that the current regulatory body is to be axed or merged as the Government aims to crack down on those attempting to exploit vulnerable people.
The scheme, set up in 1999 by Jack Straw, then the Labour home secretary, was designed to make immigration advice available for less than the cost of going to a lawyer.
But while solicitors must complete university courses, undergo several years of on-the-job training and face scrutiny by the Law Society, anyone can qualify to be an official immigration adviser by passing a number of internet-based multiple choice exams, a correspondence course teaching the rudiments of immigration law and a Criminal Records Bureau check.
There are now almost 4,000 registered advisers.
Once qualified, their supervision is overseen by a taxpayer-funded quango, the little-known Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), headed by Suzanne McCarthy.
Despite costing £4.4 million a year to run, it few powers to investigate advisers' activities and cannot suspend them even when they are under police investigation for alleged criminal behaviour.
Earlier this year Muhammed Shakoori, a Manchester-based adviser, was fined for flouting the rules by appearing in court for clients even though he was not qualified to do so.
A licenced adviser in north London was accused by an undercover television reporter this year of offering to arrange a sham marriage for £12,000.
Two years ago Lloyd Msipa, a Zimbabwe-born approved adviser, received a suspended prison sentence after being convicted of charging people hundreds of pounds for advice he was not entitled to provide, while working for a not-for-profit voluntary organisation.
Last year the OISC carried out 542 investigations into complaints of malpractice by advisers, a record for a single year. Among those investigated, 59 were found guilty of wrongdoing and another 161 faced "conciliation".
But, despite the high number of complaints, approved immigration advisers are rarely banned from practising and the OISC said it "could not say" how many it had barred for wrongdoing.
Last week undercover reporters from this newspaper made an appointment with Eustace Okere, whose name appears on the OISC list of approved advisers.
Mr Okere is a "level three" adviser, allowed to represent clients at appeal hearings before an immigration judge. But earlier this year a judge at Nottingham crown court called him a "criminal" for his alleged role in arranging a sham marriage for a client.
His name emerged during the trial of Portuguese-born Jorge Mouchinho and Falana McKenzie, from Trinidad, who were each jailed for 12 months for immigration offences.
The couple were caught after staff at Nottingham Register Office noticed that prior to their wedding they appeared nervous and hesitant, and the groom could not remember his bride's name when asked.
During the trial it was alleged that Mr Okere, a Nigerian-born Dutch national, had arranged the wedding and had charged McKenzie £6,000 to make her application to stay in Britain.
Judge Michael Stokes QC told McKenzie: "You were prepared to pay huge sums of money to this criminal in order to organise this sham marriage".
At the same time, Nottinghamshire police confirmed, Mr Okere, who runs HCI Immigration Services, was arrested and bailed until early next year while police investigate his activities further.
Despite this, last week, Mr Okere, whose CV says he has a BSc in Marketing from Abia University, in Nigeria, and a one-year master's degree in International Human Rights from Birmingham City University, was still trading from large offices in a converted Lloyds Bank branch on the outskirts of Nottingham.
He charged our undercover reporters, one of whom posed as an African woman who had overstayed on a student visa, £100 in cash for a half-hour appointment to discuss how he could help her.
Last night Mr Okere denied that he had ever acted outside the law or helped to arrange a sham marriage.
He said: "I do not want to say anything as this is an on going inquiry. I am still working. The police have no evidence and they have broken their own rules in the way they came to my office.
"They should not come without being accompanied by a barrister or without notifying the OISC. I have never done anything but act within the law for my clients.
"The judge should not have said what he said about me without evidence. It is unfair ... There is no evidence, but this is hanging over me."
Last night a spokesman for the OISC said it was aware of the allegations against Mr Okere.
He said: "We can confirm that the OISC is currently actively considering the continuation of HCI Immigration Consultants' registration as an OISC-regulated firm.
"In connection with this we are in contact with both the Nottinghamshire Police and the UK Borders Agency. The OISC does not have the power in law to suspend an adviser."
He added: "The OISC must act as a proportionate regulator and makes decisions based on evidence. If an adviser appears to be not performing well, we take constructive measures such as additional audits, bringing a Commissioner's complaint against them or retesting competence.
"If more formal regulatory action is necessary, this can take a number of forms depending on the severity of the behaviour ranging from placing conditions on their licence to an application for the adviser to be prohibited from giving immigration advice for a specific period or indefinitely."
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee, said last night that he would question Mrs May this month about the supervision of immigration advisers.
He said: "I will be asking the Home Secretary to ensure that there are appropriate levels of supervision in place when immigration advisers facing allegations of wrongdoing or giving inappropriate advice.
"It is essential, at a time when Legal Aid is being reduced for immigration cases, that people are getting the right sort of advice from properly qualified people."
He added that the committee would also be calling Mrs McCarthy in to give evidence.
A Home Office spokesman last night said the Government was considering merging the OISC with another body, although the details are still being worked out.
He added: "The new Government has made its commitment to cracking down on immigration crime clear. Disreputable immigration advisers prey on the vulnerable, charging large sums for poor advice and false hope.
"It is crucial that we continue to regulate this industry and ensure that those who insist on breaking the rules are barred from practising."

Immigration adviser charges £350 to write a letter

Eustace Okere, an approved immigration adviser, is still practicing despite being under police investigation after a judge in a crown court trial accused him of having arranged a sham marriage for a client.

Eustace Okere, an approved immigration adviser, is still practicing despite being under police investigation after a judge in a crown court trial accused him of having arranged a sham marriage for a client.
The undercover reporter from The Sunday Telegraph paid £100 cash for a half-hour consultation with Eustace Okere 
"Rita", an undercover reporter from The Sunday Telegraph, paid £100 cash for a half-hour consultation with Eustace Okere at his office – a former bank on a parade including an 'Adult Shop', two bookmakers and a Caribbean takeaway on Alfreton Road, a mile from Nottingham city centre.
Posing as an African student with an expired visa, she said she had recently received a letter threatening her with removal from the UK.
Mr Okere told her: "The minute you overstay, you are committing a criminal act. They are going to remove you. Since the election of the new government they have been removing people ... much more than before. This is a serious situation."
Looking for remedies, he asked: "Do you have a child in the UK? A brother, a sister, a husband, any family ties?"
Our reporter said she did not. Mr Okere added: "As soon as she has a child with a British national, the child is British ... It used to be that your mother had to be British, but it has changed now. It is all about parents."
Our reporter asked if it would help if "Rita" had a child. Mr Okere said: 'No, you don't have a child to stay in the country. You stay in the country because you have a child – not the other way round.
"You don't marry because you want to keep somebody in the country. That's against the rules.
"You get married because you love each other, and because you love each other you live in this country. And because you live in this county, you don't want to be separated from your partner. That would be your right to a family life."
So, asked "Rita", would it help if she had a partner from a European country. Mr Okere said: "If you came back to me with a partner then I would ask him certain questions.
"I would ask him if he was exercising Treaty rights, do you live in the UK, where do you live? I would test him like that and then I could advise you in that direction."
He suggested "Rita" purchased an airline ticket home – to show she intended to leave Britain – and then ask the immigration authorities for time to sort out her affairs.
Asked how much he would charge, he said: "Basically if you just wanted that, for us to write a letter, it would be no more than £350. If it's a proper application for any sort of leave ... it is more.
"If you make an application outside of the immigration rules then it would be up to £1,500. It depends on the category."

Islamic website tied to MP's stabbing resurfaces under new name

A radical US-based Islamic website shut down last month after allegedly helping to inspire the stabbing of a Labour MP has resurfaced with a new name.

Islamic website tied to MP's stabbing resurfaces under new name
Roshonara Choudry (L), the British Muslim jailed for life for stabbing Stephen Timms, identified RevolutionMuslim as an inspiration for her actions Photo: PA
Younus Abdullah Muhammad, a founder of both sites, told The Daily Telegraph that was the direct successor to which was closed amid the furore over its role in the attack on Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham.
"IslamPolicy will continue with the work of RevolutionMuslim," Mr Muhammad, a white American convert to Islam, said during an interview in which he called the Sept 11 terror attacks "justified violence".
He continued: "If loving Muslims that fight and die to defend themselves from Western imperialism make the UK and US governments associate me or IslamPolicy with terrorists, then I am honoured to be so associated."
US counter-terrorism officials say that at least a third of the more than 50 domestic terror suspects arrested in America in the last year had ties to RevolutionMuslim, an English-language site aimed at Muslims in the West.
They trace its roots to a network of sites run by the now banned al-Muhajiroun group in Britain. "It is playing an important role in the export to the US of the British disease of home-grown terror by radicalised young Muslims," a US official said.
Aaron Zelin, a US academic who follows pro-jihadi websites, says that the US-based RevolutionMuslim was being increasingly used by British extremists to skirt hate speech and incitement laws in the UK and promote groups with al-Muhajiroun links.
The site, which was hosted on an American Google server, was closed down last month after intense pressure from British and American security officials. But Mr Muhammad has now established IslamPolicy on a blogging site also operated by Google, calling it the new home for the closed site.
He has said that IslamPolicy will focus on ideology and education, but British and American counterterror experts are monitoring it closely for the sort of radical content that was a fixture of its predecessor.
Roshonara Choudry, the British Muslim jailed for life for stabbing Mr Timms, identified RevolutionMuslim and the teachings of Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born Yemen-based militant preacher, as inspirations for her actions.
There was outrage when the website ran a posting eulogising her and encouraging similar attacks on MPs who, like Mr Timms, had voted in favour of the Iraq war.
Peter Barron, European communications director for Google, said: "We are looking at the new site and will remove content which breaks our guidelines on hate speech and dangerous or illegal content. What we can't do, and which few people would want a private company to do, is check what people want to post online before they do so."
The site's re-emergence as IslamPolicy prompted demands for the new site to be closed by Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP who was formerly his party's Homeland Security spokesman.
"I am horrified to hear that the people behind the RevolutionMuslim site have started up again," he said. "I am equally surprised that the American authorities have allowed these highly suspicious individuals to operate yet again."