Al Qaeda 'called for Prince Harry to be killed,' court filing says, as he loses challenge for taxpayer funded protection

28 February 2024, 17:25 | Updated: 28 February 2024, 18:01

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Al Qaeda called for Prince Harry to be killed after he mentioned the number of Taliban fighters he killed in Afghanistan, according to a court filing.

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Harry lost a High Court appeal on Tuesday against the Home Office over his right to automatic police protection in the UK. Immediately after the ruling lawyers for Harry said he plans to appeal.

Harry’s legal team argued he had been singled out and treated “less favourably” than other royals when he was denied the right to automatic police protection in the UK.

But the Government argued Harry’s claim should be dismissed, arguing the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), which falls under the Home Office, was entitled to conclude the Duke’s protection should be “bespoke” and considered on a “case-by-case” basis.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Picture: Getty

Harry sued the Home Office after it refused to spend taxpayers’ money on him after he left the royal family.

A decision was reached on Tuesday morning that there had been no ‘unlawfulness’ in the decisions made by the Home Office to pull Harry’s security.

The court heard how Harry's European director of security had warned ahead of a trip to the UK last March that Al Qaeda had called for the duke to be killed.

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Prince Harry in Afghanistan
Prince Harry in Afghanistan. Picture: Getty

It came after Harry claimed in his memoir that he had killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving in Afghanistan.

The ruling said that the duke had been back in the UK for a legal hearing in a case against Associated Newspapers Limited.

His security director in Europe wrote to an official in accordance with the agreed procedure' to provide 'formal notice of the Duke of Sussex's travel to the United Kingdom".

The ruling read: "In light of various matters, including that he was the son of King Charles III, a brother of the Prince of Wales, and that Al Qaeda had recently called for the claimant to be killed, the Director of European Security said that the claimant [redacted text].

Prince Harry pictured leaving the High Court after a hearing about his phone hacking case (file image)
Prince Harry pictured leaving the High Court after a hearing about his phone hacking case (file image). Picture: Alamy

"On March 10, 2023, [redacted text], the Deputy Director of Royalty, VIP and MP Security Unit Homeland Security, wrote to say that Ravec would meet to determine what protective security arrangements should be mandated for the visit.

Without pre-empting that decision, [redacted text] said 'it is clear that the proposed visit [redacted text]. If the Duke wishes to [redacted text]'.`'

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Picture: Alamy

A statement read: "The court has found that there has not been any unlawfulness in reaching the decision of 28 February 2020.

"Any departure from policy was justified. The decision was not irrational.

"The decision was not marred by procedural unfairness. Even if such
procedural unfairness occurred, the court would in any event be prevented from granting the claimant relief.

"This is because, leaving aside any such unlawfulness, it is highly likely that the outcome for the claimant would not have been substantially

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Picture: Alamy

"The court has also found that there has been no unlawfulness on the part of RAVEC in respect of its arrangements for certain of the claimant’s visits to Great Britain, following the decision of 28 February 2020."

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are pleased that the Court has found in favour of the Government’s position in this case, and we are carefully considering our next steps. It would be inappropriate to comment further”.

“The UK Government’s protective security system is rigorous and proportionate. It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements, as doing so could compromise their integrity and affect individuals’ security”.

The Sussexes were stripped of their protection when they stepped back from royal duties in 2020.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Picture: Alamy

In December, Home Office lawyers told the High Court Prince Harry would still have publicly-funded police security, but these would be "bespoke arrangements, specifically tailored to him", rather than the automatic security provided for full-time working royals.

A legal spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex said: “The Duke of Sussex will appeal today’s judgment which refuses his judicial review claim against the decision-making body Ravec, which includes the Home Office, the Royal Household and the Met Police.

“Although these are not labels used by Ravec, three categories – as revealed during the litigation – comprise the ‘Ravec cohort’: the Role Based Category, the Occasional Category and the Other VIP Category.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry. Picture: Alamy

“The Duke is not asking for preferential treatment, but for a fair and lawful application of Ravec’s own rules, ensuring that he receives the same consideration as others in accordance with Ravec’s own written policy.

“In February 2020, Ravec failed to apply its written policy to the Duke of Sussex and excluded him from a particular risk analysis.

“The duke’s case is that the so-called ‘bespoke process’ that applies to him, is no substitute for that risk analysis.

“The Duke of Sussex hopes he will obtain justice from the Court of Appeal, and makes no further comment while the case is ongoing.”