And it has emerged that Justice Secretary Jack Straw knew of concerns over the Muslim MP’s visits to another jailed terror suspect TWO MONTHS ago.
Security sources told yesterday how 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui asked lawyer Mr Khan to represent him after being accused of being the ‘20th hijacker’.
Concerns … Straw
The Labour whip was not allowed to see Moussaoui and was barred from seeing court papers in the run-up to the trial.
But the MP for Tooting, South London, acted as a consultant to the self-confessed al-Qaeda agent – jailed for life in 2006.
Human rights lawyer Mr Khan, 37, who says he loathes terror groups, was the only practising Muslim on Moussaoui’s team. It brought him to the attention of MI5 and MI6.
One security source said last night: “It is hardly surprising he came to the attention of security services in view of the people he was associated with.”
Mr Khan later defended extremists and Brits held in Guantanamo Bay.
Last year it was revealed that five members of his family belonged to fundamental group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Mr Straw knew on December 14 of concerns over Mr Khan’s jail visits to another terror suspect.
His private office was told then that Press inquiries suggested Mr Khan’s meetings with Babar Ahmad, 33, at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, Bucks, were being bugged.
Named … Kearney
Mr Straw told the Commons on Monday that the first he knew of the bugging allegations was on Saturday afternoon.
He insisted last night: “I was aware in December of inquiries from a newspaper concerning visits by Mr Khan to Babar Ahmad.
“But at no stage before last Saturday was I aware of any information that these inquiries concerned any covert recording or anything like that and I confirm what I told the House.”
Mr Straw is believed to have told officials that he thought someone was trying to “smear” Mr Khan.
Computer boffin Ahmad has been held since his arrest in August 2004 under anti-terror laws.
Tory MPs yesterday voiced fury that Mr Straw had not told the Commons the full story.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: “We are told Jack Straw has been briefed by officials on Press inquiries relating to Sadiq Khan’s visits to HMP Woodhill yet, despite his officials knowing of the allegations of bugging, they still failed to brief him.
“If true, this is frankly extraordinary and raises enormous questions about the leadership of this department.”
Tories said the issue was raised with Mr Straw just three days after Mr Davis wrote to Gordon Brown, on December 11, warning him a Labour MP was being bugged.
Number 10 has said the letter was never received. Mr Straw’s officials insist they had been alerted on December 14 by the Press, not Mr Davis’s letter.
One senior insider said: “Jack knew there was some sort of story but he did not know the details. He should have been told about claims the visits were being recorded.”
Earlier, Mr Davis argued the eavesdropping breached the Wilson Doctrine, which says MPs should not be bugged. He added: “This is a serious issue. It makes the PM a liar, basically.”
Leader of the Commons Harriet Harman called on Mr Davis to apologise for that remark. Mr Straw has ordered an inquiry to be headed by Whitehall’s chief surveillance commissioner and former judge Sir Christopher Rose.
Ahmad is facing extradition to the US over claims he raised cash for the Taliban and Chechen terrorists.
The man behind the bugging has been named as retired cop Mark Kearney, 48. He worked at Woodhill jail as a police intelligence officer.