The Registrar should have consulted first with senior academic staff andwith experts in the field of terrorism. The fact that no risk assessmenttook place is clear both from the Registrar
’s statement to the police
andfrom a letter the then Vice-Chancellor sent to the then Universities
Minister, Bill Rammell. Subsequently, however, and with itsresponsibilities in mind, the university came to publicly state that the
decision to involve the police had been taken as a ‘collective decision’
after a ‘risk assessment’ had be
en conducted. This was not true; itwas the decision of one man
The police came to make their arrests on the basis of informationsupplied to them by the Registrar and by a professor in the School of Modern Languages. Both of these two had cursory sight of the threedocuments. The Registrar had said that the
Al Qaeda Training Manual
had ‘no valid re
and the professor hadcalled it
an ‘illegal document’. Neither man carried out
even a Googlesearch to investigate any of the three documents. Taking these two men- given their seniority -
to be ‘experts’,
the police made their arrests.3.
No one in senior management ever read the AQTM.4.
The university came to say that, in the whole affair, ‘no judgement
made by us’. But it was a university ‘judgement’ that led to the arrests
,not a police one
. Indeed, the day after Sabir’s arrest
, the universityprepared an exclusion letter for him. A judgement had clearly beenpassed on him.5.
Neither Sabir nor Yezza was contacted by the university during the sixdays of their incarceration. They received no support.6.
The university had said that Sabir had been arrested for ‘impeding policeinquiries’. This was not true. Sabir had no idea
that there was a policeinquiry going on.7.
The university had said that there were ‘no armed police on campus’
during the arrests. This was not true.8.
The university had said that the two men had been in
‘possession’ of ‘terrorist literature’. This was no
t true. And, anyway, even if they hadpossessed terrorist literature it is not a crime in the UK to do so.9.
The university was clearly limiting academic freedom by declaring abook - the AQTM - to be off limits to students at Nottingham University.(It was on reading lists at the University of Oxford).