A Muslim terror suspect evaded a team of police officers who were watching him by donning a burqa as a disguise.

Scotland Yard launched a hunt for Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, 27, after surveillance officers lost track of him when he went to a mosque in west London for prayers last week.

Mohamed was observed walking in to the An-Noor Masjid and Community centre, but did not emerge afterwards. CCTV showed a figure suspected of being him leaving beneath the traditional Islamic garment.

Embarrassingly for police, Mohamed was wearing an electronic tag, meant to keep track of his location, when he vanished. He is also subject to a special court order designed to restrict his movements, called a Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures order.

Security minister James Brokenshire insisted that "the police and security services do not believe that this man poses a direct threat to the public in the UK." He added:

"National security is the government's top priority and the police are doing everything in their power to apprehend this man as quickly as possible.

"The Home Secretary, on police advice, yesterday applied to the High Court for an order protecting anonymity to be lifted in order to assist with their investigation."

A police spokesman added: "The Counter Terrorism Command immediately launched inquiries to trace Mr Mohamed and these continue. Ports and borders were notified with his photograph and details circulated nationally. Public safety remains our priority."

Last year another terror suspect, Ibrahim Magag, absconded under similar conditions to Mohamed and still has not been found.