A POLICE officer who sparked a major national security alert by making a hoax call to West Midlands Police has been found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Amar Tasaddiq Hussain, aged 29 from Birmingham, admitted to falsely claiming a Muslim police colleague in the area was going to be kidnapped in an anonymous call on December 8, 2014.
The hoax sparked fears of a Lee Rigby-sytle attack on innocent officers and caused rumours that officers had been called of the region’s streets to circulate.
The call came at a time when the national terrorism threat level was severe, meaning police took the information as credible and rushed to protect officers and staff.
Counter terrorism detectives arrested a suspect within 24 hours of the call, but as the investigation unfolded it became clear Hussain, who had served with the Birmingham West and Central policing unit for seven years, was the man behind the tip-off.
He was arrested on September 8, 2015 along with two other men from the city ? Adil Bashir, aged 26, and Muhammad Ali Sheikh, aged 31.
The trio were subsequently charged with two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between June, 30 2014 and December 15, 2014.
Police learnt that the plot started because the three men had a grudge against colleagues from an Islamic community organisation they were all members of, and they were intent on undermining them.
One of those colleagues had nearly been arrested in September 2014, after ‘malicious’ and false information was given to police that a forced marriage was taking place at an address in Moseley.
In police interviews Hussain refused to comment on detectives’ questions, however shortly before the trial – at Stafford Crown Court – he admitted making the December 999 call.
Explaining the impact of Hussain’s hoax call, representatives for the Police Federation said: “The concern felt by officers was widespread and long lasting, affecting not just police office but all police employees and their families.”
Police records showed Hussain had tried to access police logs of the September and December calls while on duty.
And expert voice analysis revealed the calls were made by Bashir and Hussain respectively.
Bashir and Sheikh bought a phone with money given to them by Hussain so they were able to send a message via WhatsApp to further discredit colleagues from their Islamic community organisation.
Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said Hussain had not only let down West Midlands Police, but had also let down the ‘peaceful, non-political’ Islamic community organisation he had been a part of.
Chief Cons Beale added: “The impact of the threat had a huge effect on officers and staff and in turn on their loved ones.
“Never before have we had to instruct officers and staff to call in after their tour of duty to let us know they had returned home safely.
“We also had to ensure other forces and key partners were fully aware and that we kept our communities as updated as we could; in some cases dispelling rumours that we had taken officers off the streets of the West Midlands.
“West Midlands Police expects the highest standards of those who work in the organisation and the vast majority of officers and staff uphold these high standards.
“There is absolutely no place in policing for those who abuse the trust placed in us by the public.”
All three were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on May 27.