Muslim anti-terror officer accused of being extremist by police co-workers wins £14,000 damages

New Scotland Yard

Mohammed Hussain was investigated after false accusations he was an Islamic extremist

A Muslim police worker who was 'maliciously' reported to the anti-terror squad by colleagues after the 7/7 attacks has been awarded almost £14,000 compensation.

Mohammed Hussain, 30, was investigated by the Met's specialist SO15 command after false accusations from co-workers that he was an Islamic extremist who had praised suicide bombers and threatened his colleagues, a tribunal heard.

The payout comes just days after beleaguered Met chief Sir Ian Blair was accused of racism by Scotland Yard number three Tarique Ghaffur.

Mr Hussain, a researcher in the Met's forensic analysis unit which provides intelligence to police officers, won a claim of religious discrimination against the force in June this year.

He told the employment tribunal that he was the only Muslim in his office and was made to feel 'isolated and lonely' when colleagues 'conspired' against him, especially after the July 7 attacks.

Co-workers alleged that he 'changed' in attitude after the suicide attacks and Mr Hussain told how he was made to feel like 'a pariah', with a frosty atmosphere in the office whenever he walked in.

One colleague, intelligence worker Robert Matthews, claimed that Mr Hussain had said it was 'okay to kill American soldiers' shortly after 7/7. Mr Matthews also said he feared for his life after alleged threats from Mr Hussain.

Another worker, data inputter Dassash Alem, alleged that Mr Hussain had boasted he was a fan of Adolf Hitler who had told colleagues, 'Hitler was brilliant. He should have finished off the Jews'.

Mr Hussain was also alleged to have praised suicide attacks in Israel and played anti-American rap CDs in the office.

The hearing heard that his boss Bob Milne was put under pressure by Mr Matthews and others to report Mr Hussain to the anti-terror unit on two occasions as a suspected terrorist.

One allegation made against him was that his attendance at a new mosque made him a potential danger. Both times the anti-terror unit gave him the all clear.

Mr Hussain also accused Met bosses of condoning the discrimination against him. He was suspended for eight months in 2006 - officially while his 'erratic' behaviour was investigated - before being re-instated. He continues to work there.

An employment tribunal in Watford said that the Met's conduct had been 'oppressive and high-handed' and awarded Mr Hussain £13,758.55 for injuries to feelings and aggravated damages.

After the award Mr Hussain, from Aylesbury, said: 'I'm very happy to have won my case. It was disgusting, the way I was treated by the Met, not just by my colleagues but also by the managers because they knew what was happening but didn't stop it.

'I was accused of being a terrorist and I was made to feel like and outsider. The tribunal found that the Met was in the wrong in the way they treated me.'

The tribunal ruled that Mr Hussain was discriminated against based on his religion as a Muslim over some of the complaints against him and the decision to investigate and suspend him.

The tribunal said that the decision to refer him to SO15 was 'an abuse of the reporting process because it lacked credibility'.

If found: 'A picture of the claimant as an Islamic extremist was painted by Ms Alem and Mr Matthews.'

But the tribunal rejected a number of other claims, saying that there had been 'genuine concerns about the claimant's behaviour and performance' and 'he was not entirely free from blame'.

The tribunal ruled that he had not been 'the centre point of bullying and harassment' but added: 'We do accept that he was the subject of a malicious accusation'.

It also found he had sworn at his managers and made 'an inappropriate reference to the killing of American soldiers'.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: 'The Tribunal has accepted that there were genuine management concerns about the claimant's behaviour but the issues should have been left for local management to handle, rather than leading to suspension.

'The Metropolitan police is considering the Employment Tribunal's decision in the claim brought by Mr Hussain.

'This case which turns on its own particular facts and a considerable period has passed since the incidents surrounding this claim.'

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