A British Muslim accused of raising funds for terrorist organisations has told a court how he was beaten up and mocked by specialist police officers during an early morning raid at his home.
Babar Ahmad said he had been in bed with his wife at around 5am when officers from the Met’s territorial support group smashed their way into his south London home in December 2003.
Moments later the officers – dressed in full protective clothing – entered his bedroom, where Southwark crown court heard they began a “sustained and very violent assault”.
“It was complete confusion and shock,” Ahmad told the jury. “I had just woken up and lots of things were going through my mind: ‘Why have they come up here? Have they mixed me up with someone else? Is there a robber hiding in my house or have they come to arrest me?’ All these things were going through my mind.”
Ahmad said he was wrestled to the floor and repeatedly punched and sworn at, and one officer pulled his genitals.
The prosecutor, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, asked if he had fought or struggled.
Ahmad, 37, replied: “I was completely compliant because I had made my mind up when they came towards me I was going to co-operate and reassure them they had nothing to fear from me whatsoever … At no point did I struggle or make it difficult for them. At no point did I say anything to them other than: ‘Can you stop hitting me?’ I didn’t make it hard for them or provoke them whatsoever.”
Police constables Mark Jones, Roderick James-Bowen and Nigel Cowley and Detective Constable John Donohue deny assaulting Ahmad.
The officers had been told that Ahmad had received terrorist training and fought overseas in support of jihad. The arrest took place less than a year after another terror suspect, Kamel Bourgass, stabbed an anti-terror squad officer to death during a raid on a house in Manchester.
Ahmad, who was accused of raising money for al-Qaida, told the jury that after the officers had entered the bedroom of the semi-detached house they had grabbed his arms, forcing him to the floor. He said that at some point his head hit the bedroom window, smashing the glass.
While he was on the floor, he said, the officers continued to swear at him, and he heard a “sarcastic” voice say: “So this one’s the tough nut is he?”
He said he was then kneed in the thigh by one officer before another began punching him in the head and face.
The court heard he was fully restrained, lying face down with officers holding his head, arms and back, and offered no resistance to his captors, other than to ask them to stop hitting him.
Ahmad said his wife had stood on the bed as the attack began, pulling up the duvet to cover herself. She was “remonstrating” with the police and asking them to let him go before being taken from the room, he said.
Ahmad was released without charge shortly after his arrest. However, he was rearrested in 2004 following a request from the US over claims he helped raise money to fund terrorism. He has been in custody in the UK ever since.
The hearing continues.