14 July 2012
Rizwaan Sabir, a British Muslim student from Nottingham University was arrested by the Police under the Terrorism Act, in 2008. He was accused of downloading an al-Qaida training manual for terrorist purposes. Sabir was doing an MA on terrorism tactics at the time and he had downloaded the manual from a US government website for his research. After remaining seven days in police custody, Sabir was released without charge.
The incident then became a flagrant demonstration of the Islamophobia rooted in the British Universities. The university’s sole terrorism expert Dr Rod Thornton, published an article condemning the University’s handling of the arrest and treatment of Sabir and alleging that the university attempted to smear the student.
An internal investigation carried out by West Midlands police into the affair following complaints by Thornton over the police’s handing of the case has now been completed. It found that officers effectively invented what Dr Thornton told them about the al-Qaida training manual in a police interview. The case has now been referred to Independent Police Complaints Commission.