SNP spark fury after blocking UK plans to give lie detector tests to terrorists

Tough new laws tightening up early release for prisoners convicted of terror offences have been drawn up by the UK Government.


But Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP ministers are refusing to implement a key plank — polygraphing jihadis to check they are not fibbing about being reformed characters.

The Counter Terror and Sentencing Bill will see a minimum sentence of 14 years slapped on terror offences.

The clampdown was ordered after terrorist Usman Khan brutally murdered two probation volunteers near London Bridge last November.

Last night the UK’s independent reviewer of terror legislation Jonathan Hall QC published a long awaited report into the failings that allowed crazed Khan to kill while on parole.

He said: “Polygraph testing is a sensible additional tool for obtaining information relevant to risk posed by Terrorist Offenders.”

“The results are likely to assist in determining whether the offender is complying with their licence conditions… and can assist police to consider risk factors”.

Usman Khan murdered two probation volunteers last NovemberCredit: AP:Associated Press

But a furious row has broken out between Edinburgh and London after Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf rejected a request from the UK Government to implement terror detector tests in Scotland.

Because Justice is a devolved issue, UK ministers need to seek a Legislative Consent Motion – permission from Scottish ministers to amend Scottish law – but the SNP administration are saying no.

Despite the expert opinion, Scottish Justice minister Humza Yousaf wrote in a letter to the UK Government that he was  “unconvinced by policy merits of the use of polygraph in Scotland.”

But leading Scottish Conservative Andrew Bowie branded the SNP behaviour “an utter disgrace”.

The West Aberdeenshire MP added: “Typical SNP: weak on terroism, weak on security.”

The SNP were slammed in 2009 after letting out the Lockerbie bomber amid claims he was on death’s door, only to see Abdelbaset al-Megrahi live for nearly three years back in Libya.

Mr Bowie added: “When you look back on the history of the SNP and terrorists – not least the release of the Lockerbie bomber – they have consistently been weak on protecting the safety of Scots.”

And he urged Scottish ministers to “immediately take action to make sure this important law is applied across the entire United Kingdom or Scotland will be left weaker than England and Wales.”

Dr Alan Mendoza of the security think tank the Henry Jackson Society warned the row risked “creating a two-tier system of release that threatens the security of the whole UK.”

A Scottish Government source claimed a call to discuss the issue yesterday was cancelled at the “last minute” by the UK Government and “will be rearranged”. 

The insider added: “We have stated our concerns on the polygraph testing to them.”

The Ministry of Justice confirmed plans to polygraph terror convicts, but declined to comment on the row.