May 23 2013 Latest news:
Monday, May 14, 2012
A Muslim police officer in London’s East End who quit after being caught up in national security legislation concerning terrorist training camps abroad is suing the Met Police for race discrimination and employment equality.
Abdul Rahman, 33, had been an officer in Tower Hamlets for three years until he resigned in 2006.
His legal team confirmed this week that his resignation followed the withdrawal of his security clearance to use the police national databank.
The law firm, Russell Jones & Walker, believe the move followed an MI5 warning that he might have visited a terrorist training camp in Pakistan 11 years ago.
Mr Rahman, who was born in Bangladesh but grew up in Poplar in east London, did visit Pakistan in 2001—but vehemently denies ever going to a terror training camp.
He resigned after losing an internal appeal against withdrawal of his security clearance, rather than face dismissal.
Now, six years on, he is taking the Met to an employment tribunal after the Police Federation took up his case.
“He has never been questioned, arrested or charged under any terrorism legislation,” his lawyer Jasmine van Loggerenberg said in a statement to the Advertiser.
“This case centres on ensuring questions of national security do not override natural justice.
“It is about balancing the need to protect national security and the need to protect innocent individuals from becoming tangled up in legislation which can have unjust impact on the tribunal process.”
The 2006 anti-terrorism legislation means an individual and even their lawyer can be barred from parts or all of the tribunal “for national security” and even from information which could be vital to their case.
The lawyer added: “This case also raises issues about whether practices which disadvantage innocent people on the basis of ethnic or religious background can ever be justified.”
MI5 carried out routine security vetting in 2006 for Scotland Yard which led to Pc Rahman’s security clearance being withdrawn—which effectively made him unemployable as a cop.
He was never arrested or even questioned under the 2006 Terrorism Act, the lawyer stressed.
Scotland Yard said in a statement this week that the former officer was bringing two employment claims against the Met, alleging race discrimination and employment equality, under religion or belief regulations. The hearing has not yet been listed.