A Muslim cop is suing the Metropolitan Police after he was removed from an elite protection squad in charge of guarding dignitaries such as Tony Blair
Amjad Farooq, 39, was told he was a threat to national security because his children had attended a mosque associated with a Muslim cleric linked to a suspected terrorist group, it was reported today.
The development comes in the wake of last month's row surrounding another Muslim member of the Met's Diplomatic Protection Group SO16, who was excused from guarding London's Israeli Embassy because he objected to Israel's bombing of Lebanon.
The latest controversy centres on Farooq, a father of five who was informed that his presence on the unit might upset the US secret service, which works with the Met's close-protection unit.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been notified of an employment tribunal claim by an MPS Pc alleging discrimination on the grounds of race and religious belief."
PC Farooq was a firearms specialist working for the Wiltshire Constabulary when he was transferred to the DPG, whose main role is to provide static protection at government, diplomatic and Metropolitan Police sites.
All officers within the unit are required to undergo security vetting including a counter-terrorism check (CTC).
PC Farooq was told he would not be transferred until he had received full counter-terrorism clearance, it was reported today by The Independent newspaper.
On Dec 16 2003, he was approached by a detective chief superintendent from Special Branch who informed him that he had failed his CTC. By then, Pc Farooq had been working for the DPG for six weeks.
The Met told the officer that they had evidence to justify the refusal of the CTC and referred to the fact that Pc Farooq's two sons, aged 9 and 11, had attended their local mosque for religious studies when the building was associated with an imam suspected of having links to an extremist Islamic group.
Muslim PC to sue police for discrimination after removed from armed unit
Muslim police officer suing Met