Rizwaan Sabir arrest notes 'made up'

Rizwaan Sabir Image copyright other
Image caption Rizwaan Sabir: Reached out of court settlement with police

Police "made up" evidence over a Nottingham student's arrest in a terrorism alert, an inquiry has found.

Rizwaan Sabir was released without charge after being held for a week in May 2008 after downloading research about Al-Qaeda.

An internal inquiry by West Midlands Police has now found some comments attributed to his tutor, Dr Rod Thornton, were untrue.

But the force insisted there were no grounds for misconduct hearings.

Mr Sabir was arrested after downloading and forwarding a document called The Al-Qaeda Training Manual.

Words 'twisted'

Nottinghamshire Police, which carried out the arrest, later paid Mr Sabir £20,000 to settle a civil case out of court, but did not accept their actions were unlawful.

Dr Thornton, a terrorism expert, found his own police interview had been used by West Midlands Police, which runs counter-terrorism operations in the region.

He then protested about how this evidence had been presented and the subsequent inquiry upheld some of his complaints.

It said notes from senior police meetings "made up" comments by Dr Thornton about the The Al-Qaeda Training Manual and Mr Sabir's research project.

Dr Thornton said: "They basically twisted my words to say that I was blaming Rizwaan Sabir and his arrest was rightful - which it was not.

"But also the police were making me out to be an irresponsible teacher."

Further action

He added: "When we are doing counter-terrorism in this country we have to do it straight.

"We have to do it right, otherwise we will make the situation worse."

Despite upholding five out of eight complaints, the inquiry said there was "no case to answer in respect of misconduct" and the matter was closed.

However Dr Thornton has made a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

West Midlands Police said the issue had been "thoroughly investigated" but it could not comment further while an IPCC investigation was ongoing.

Earlier this year Dr Thornton left the University of Nottingham.

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