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Entries in University of Nottingham (5)


Britain Feature: Police "Made Up Evidence" Against Student Held as Terrorist Suspect

Rizwaan Sabir with University of Nottingham Security, May 2011Four years ago, University of Nottingham postgraduate candidate Rizwaan Sabir was held for seven days without charge. The reason for suspicion? As part of his dissertation research on tactics and discourse of "terrorism", he had downloaded a publicly-available training manual from Al Qa'eda.

Sabir was never charged and eventually moved to Ph.D. study at the University of Bath, with the police paying him $20,000 compensation in September 2011. However, his friend Hicham Yezza, an administrator at Nottingham, was also interrogated and then held for months, under threat of deportation, on an immigration charge. 

Now the results of the internal investigation over the police's handling of the case indicates officers "created" details of an interview with Dr Rod Thornton, the University of Nottingham's speciaist on terrorism.

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Terrorism and UK Academia: Police Give £20,000 and Apology to Wrongly-Arrested Student

University of NottinghamFor more than three years, EA and its predecessor, Libertas, have followed the case of two men punished by the University of Nottingham and British authorities. The "crime"? Downloading a publicly-available Al Qa'eda training manual, as part of a postgraduate student's research on terrorism, onto a computer.

Hicham Yezza, an administrator at the university, and Rizwaan Sabir were arrested in May 2008. Sabir was released after seven days and eventually completed his Master's degree. He then moved to the University of Strathclyde in Scotland for his Ph.D. research. Yezza was not brought to trial but was held for months in a detention centre under threat of deportation before he was finally freed.

Sam Jones of The Guardian brings the latest development in the case. Readers might note that, in contrast to the compensation given by the police to Sabir, the University of Nottingham, which continued to secretly film Islamic students on campus, has never offered a word of apology to the student or to Yezza.

A student who was arrested and held for seven days after downloading the al-Qaida training manual as part of his university research into terrorist tactics has received £20,000 in compensation and an apology from the police for being stopped and searched.

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"Terrorism" & Academia Follow-Up: Britain's University of Nottingham Secretly Films Students (Townsend)

Confidential documents relating to a "major Islamist plot" have revealed that security staff from a leading university have been secretly filming students on campus as a method of monitoring potential extremists.

More than 200 university documents --- along with material from the Met's counter-terrorism command, Special Branch and the Crown Prosecution Service --- detail the controversial techniques being deployed to monitor students.

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"Terrorism" & Academia Follow-Up: 67 Academics Call for Reinstatement of University of Nottingham Lecturer

We write as academics deeply concerned by the suspension of Dr Rod Thornton, a lecturer in counter-terrorism in the school of politics and international relations at the University of Nottingham. We understand that Dr Thornton's suspension is the result of a whistle-blowing investigative research paper that was presented at the annual British International Studies Association conference and subsequently published on its website. In his research, Dr Thornton carefully details what appear to be examples of serious misconduct from senior university management over the arrest of two university members (The "Nottingham Two") under the Terrorism Act 2000 in May 2008.

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"Terrorism" & Academia Special: Britain's University of Nottingham Claims Another Victim

Hicham YezzaIn 2008-2009 --- first on our predcecessor, Libertas, and then on EA --- we covered an unusual case at Britain's University of Nottingham: research on a Master's thesis in International Security and Terrorism had led to the lengthy imprisonment of an Algerian-born administrator, Hicham Yezza, and the detention of a postgraduate student, Rizwaan Sabir.

Now a new chapter in the story: Dr Rod Thornton, a lecturer at Nottingham and Sabir's former supervisor, has been suspended by the University.

His offence? He wrote a lengthy paper, "Radicalisation at Universities or Radicalisation by Universities?", for the annual conference of the British International Studies Association.

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