Discrimination case: Abdul Rahman as a Metropolitan Police constable
A Scotland Yard police officer who spent three years in uniform before MI5 raised fears that he could be an Al Qaeda ‘sleeper’ agent is suing for compensation.
Abdul Rahman, 33, resigned after senior officers revoked his security clearance when they were told of the damaging suspicions.
Secret intelligence suggested he had attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan before he was recruited to the force.
Now the father of four, who admits travelling to Pakistan but vehemently denies meeting terrorists, is claiming a five-figure sum for alleged discrimination.
But he has been unable to see the evidence against him because police and MI5 do not want to reveal their sensitive sources.
It is possible he was identified by an Al Qaeda supergrass who joined militants at camps on the lawless border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The case raises serious questions about how he became a policeman and was able to work for three years and comes five years after the Daily Mail first revealed that up to eight police officers and civilian staff had suspected links to extremist groups including Al Qaeda.
Their names featured on a secret list of alleged radicals said to be working in the Met and other forces.
The dossier was drawn up with the help of MI5 amid fears that individuals linked to Islamic extremism are taking advantage of police attempts to increase the proportion of ethnic staff.
Mr Rahman, who was born in Bangladesh and became a British citizen aged nine, joined the Metropolitan Police in 2003.
The claims came to light three years later as MI5 and counter-terrorism detectives undertook a massive review of security following the July 2005 terrorist attacks.
Mr Rahman was questioned three times about his movements before his counter-terrorism clearance was suspended and he was put on restricted duties. He went off sick.
The next year a hearing chaired by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the then head of counter-terrorism, concluded he should be sacked, and he resigned a short time later.
Police officers without security clearance cannot do their job as they are unable to access the Police National Computer or other sensitive databases.
Abdul Rahman, circled, pictured with other officers from the Metropolitan Police
It is understood Mr Rahman said he attended a madrassah, a religious school, as a way of getting into technical college in Britain, but did not meet any terrorists.
No evidence was found against two colleagues who were also questioned.
Some madrassahs in Pakistan have a reputation for attracting extremists and radicalising young Muslims.
Shehzad Tanweer, the London suicide bomber, is said to have visited one in the months before the July 7 attacks in 2005.
Mr Rahman, who lives in Tower Hamlets, declined to discuss the case. His solicitor Jasmine van Loggerenberg said her client denies the allegations against him and has been left in a ‘ludicrous and inequitable’ situation by the secrecy around his case.
She said: ‘This case raises important issues on whether practices which disadvantage innocent people on the basis of their ethnic or religious background can ever be justified, when the allegations that result are so serious.’
Patrick Mercer, a Tory MP and expert on counter-terrorism, said he was astonished that Mr Rahman entered police ranks in the first place.
He said: ‘It seems extraordinary that an individual with this sort of background would even be entertained by the police.’
The Met confirmed that Mr Rahman is bringing an employment tribunal case for racial discrimination against the force.
Last month it emerged convicted terrorist Saajid Muhammad Badat, 33, was released from prison early after becoming a supergrass.
He was questioned by police and MI5 for days about his activities before he was given a reduced sentence in 2005. He was personally instructed by Osama bin Laden at terror camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan alongside his accomplice ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid.
MI5 carries out counter-terrorism vetting on behalf of the Met, other forces and the Government. Applicants must declare whether they have spent long periods of time outside Britain.