A British terror suspect fighting extradition to Connecticut was choked to the point of unconsciousness, his genitals were grabbed and he endured excruciating pain when he was led by his handcuffs, according to news reports. For his pain, he is $80,000 richer in a case being called a “stunning victory” against the lofty Scotland Yard.
Computer specialist Babar Ahmad, 34, sued and won over an arrest in 2003 in London.
American officials accuse the Pakistani native of running Web sites based in Connecticut to raise money for the Taliban, appealing for fighters and providing equipment such as gas masks and night vision goggles to terrorists.
Ahmad was also a key figure in the Connecticut trial of a former US. sailor convicted of revealing classified information about the movement of Navy vessels and their vulnerability to attack.
Lawyers for Scotland Yard acknowledged that he was subject to violence and religious abuse by officers who burst into his home.
During the arrest, officers stamped on Ahmad’s feet and repeatedly punched him in the head before he was forced into the Muslim prayer position and they shouted: "Where is your God now? Pray to him," according to the Asian News.
Metropolitan Police had denied the claims and said officers had used reasonable force during the arrest but lawyers for Sir Paul Stephenson, the head of Scotland Yard, admitted that Ahmad was the victim of “gratuitous and sustained violence” at his home in south-west London, Asian News reported.
"The commissioner has today admitted that his officers subjected Babar Ahmad to grave abuse tantamount to torture during his arrest," Ahmad's solicitor, Fiona Murphy, told the news organization outside the court.
Prosecutors had accused Hassan Abu-Jihaad of Phoenix of communicating with Ahmad while on active duty on a U.S. destroyer in 2000 and 2001.
Abu-Jihaad allegedly discussed naval military briefings and praised those who attacked the USS Cole off Yemen in 2000. Officials said a search of Ahmad's computers showed files containing classified information about the positions of Navy ships and discussing their vulnerability to attack.
Abu-Jihaad denied the charges. He was convicted by a Connecticut jury of leaking secret information and providing material support to terrorists in March 2008, but a federal judge overturned the terror conviction this month.
He is awaiting extradition to the U.S. on charges of fund raising in support of terrorism in Chechnya and Afghanistan, according to News 24.