US intelligence agents appear to have influenced a decision to investigate charitable donors to Cage, the high-profile lobby group that campaigns on behalf of people accused of terrorism, describing it as a "jihadist front", court papers reveal.

Days before the Charity Commission intervened to choke off future funds from the voluntary sector to Cage, its chair, William Shawcross, a former journalist who in the past has defended torture and Guantánamo Bay, emailed fellow board members to warn that Cage was a "terrorist-supporting group".

Documents laid before the court reveal that in an email, dated 27 February 2015, Shawcross says he had "spent the last 24 hours in Washington with senior US government counter-terrorism officials" and that "one senior analyst thought it was astonishing that Cage was not long ago exposed for what it is – a jihadist front".

Read the complete original version of this item...