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Boffin arrested under Terrorism Act

by on27 May 2008


Downloaded al-Qaida-related material


A terrorism expert from Nottingham Trent University was arrested and detained for six days after his University's IT department told coppers that he was downloading al-Qaida material from a U.S. website.

Rizwaan Sabir, 22, was held for nearly a week under the Terrorism Act, accused of downloading the materials for illegal use, despite the fact that his University Professors told police that the material was part of his studies into terrorist tactics.

University lecturers are furious at the case, which they claim is a direct assault on academic freedom by the government. Sabir's home was searched and his computer and mobile phones seized. They were released uncharged six days later.

Sabir told the Guardian that he was psychologically tortured by the ordeal. Bettina Rentz, a lecturer in international security and Sabir's personal tutor, said Sabir is a serious student who works very hard and wants a career in academia.

Sabir's solicitor, Tayab Ali, said if the University had discussed the issue with Rizwaan and his tutors before calling the police the whole thing could have been sorted out.

More here.


Last modified on 27 May 2008
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