Babar Ahmad

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Person.png Babar Ahmad   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Babar Ahmad handcuffed to prison warder escort - February 2008
Alma materUniversity of London
Criminal status
incarcerated in the United States
Victim of • torture
• extradition
SubpageBabar Ahmad/Timeline
US pressure had Babar Ahmad arrested and held for 10 years in UK, although he had broken no UK law. He was beaten up by UK police in 2003. A petition signed by 149,388 people did not prevent his extradition to US - with no evidence of wrong doing provided - a country where it is likely he has been tortured.

Babar Ahmad is a British Muslim who was imprisoned without charge in the UK for 10 years as part of the so-called "war on terror". He was finally extradited to the USA in October 2012 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for "cyber-terrorism". Time already served in the UK awaiting extradition was taken into account and he was freed and returned to his family in the UK in July 2015.  


          Page Name          Size
Babar Ahmad/Timeline16,137

UK arrest and detention

In December 2003 Babar was arrested at his London home under anti-terror legislation, suffering at least 73 forensically recorded injuries, including bleeding in his ears and urine, by the time he reached the police station. Six days later he was released without charge. In August 2004 Babar was re-arrested in London and taken to prison pursuant to an extradition request from the US under the no-evidence-required, Extradition Act 2003. The US alleged that in the 1990s Babar had supported “terrorism”. He was held for 10 years before being extradited to US on 5 October 2012.[1][2]


On 11 January 2012 the BBC won a court battle allowing them to film and interview Babar at the maximum security Long Lartin prison. The inteview is to be broadcast on the BBC on Thursday 5 April 2012. A brief report of the interview is published on the BBC website [3]. It contains revealing insights into Police/UK complicity in declining to prosecute in the UK and instead, turning over the Police-gathered evidence of his alleged wrongdoing to US authorities with (allegedly) an invitation to extradite.


In December 2003 Babar was arrested at his London home under anti-terror legislation. By the time he reached the police station Babar had sustained at least 73 forensically recorded injuries, including bleeding in his ears and urine. Six days later he was released without charge.

In August 2004 Babar was re-arrested in London and taken to prison pursuant to an extradition request from the US under the controversial, no-evidence-required, Extradition Act 2003. The US has alleged that in the 1990s Babar was a supporter of “terrorism”. Babar denies any involvement in "terrorism".

In March 2009, he was awarded £60,000 compensation at the High Court in London after an admission by UK anti-terrorist police that they subjected him to ‘grave abuse, tantamount to torture’ during his first arrest in December 2003.[4] [5]

His case also features prominently in the media in February 2008, when it was discovered that his conversations with Sadiq Khan MP had been monitored by the police during prison visits. An investigation of the monitoring found 'no impropriety'. [6]

He remains in prison awaiting the outcome of his final appeal against extradition at the European Court of Human Rights, which is expected to rule in early 2010.[7] As at 18 June 2010 it is now long overdue.


Babar Ahmad grew up in Tooting, South West London. His parents migrated to England from Pakistan in the early 1960s. His father is a retired civil servant and his mother a retired science teacher.

He went to a public school where he won academic prizes and obtained GCSEs and A-Levels. He then went to university and obtained a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of London. Before his imprisonment in August 2004, he was working in the IT department at Imperial College London.[8]

According to Mr. Sadiq Khan MP, Ahmad "is known locally in Tooting as a caring and helpful member of our community".[9]

US prosecution of Ahmad and others

Babar Ahmad was arrested in London on 5 August 2004 on charges that of providing material support to "terrorism", providing illegal support to the Taliban, money laundering and conspiring to kill people. An affidavit filed with the US court details that Ahmad used aliases to operate, a website supporting Chechen and Taliban fighters. It further describes that recovered from a house used by Ahmad were his possessions, including a British Airways Executive Club card in his name and next to it a floppy disk containing a password-protected document containing a detailed description of the US Fifth Fleet, its ships, the date and time of its expected passage through the Straits of Hormuz, and that it was vulnerable to attack by "RPG" (rocket-propelled grenade). [10]. Ahmad was later indicted by a grand jury of US citizens in October 2004 [11]]. Another man Syed Talah Ahsan, was indicted in 2006 of involvement with Ahmad and with the battlegroup information in the document, [12] and thereafter a US former navy seaman, Abu Jihad was indicted and convicted of passing this information to them. [13]

Under the Extradition Act 2003, the US does not have to provide any evidence before seeking the extradition of a British citizen.[14]

US extradition documents state that ‘at all times material to the indictment’ Babar Ahmad was resident in London, UK. However, the UK Crown Prosecution Service declared in July 2004 and December 2006, as did the UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in September 2006, that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence under UK law.[15]

Having been refused bail, Babar Ahmad was detained in prison. On 17 May 2005, Senior District Judge Timothy Workman approved his extradition at Bow Street Magistrates Court, stating, "This is a troubling and difficult case. The defendant is a British citizen who is alleged to have committed offences which, if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country..."[16]

In September 2005, Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, presented a petition of 18,000 signatures to then Home Secretary Charles Clarke asking Babar Ahmad to be tried in the UK, instead of being extradited.[17] On 16 November 2005, Charles Clarke approved his extradition to the US.[18]

On 28 November 2005, the UK Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee raised serious concerns about the one-sided UK-US extradition arrangements and, in particular, the case of Babar Ahmad. In a House of Commons emergency debate on 12 July 2006 about UK-US extradition, several MPs from all parties raised concerns at the case of Babar Ahmad. His name has also been mentioned repeatedly in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in relation to UK-US extradition.[19] Thousands have attended demonstrations in support of him.[20]

On 30 November 2006, he lost his appeal at the High Court.[21] On 4 June 2007, the House of Lords refused to grant him leave to appeal to them. [22]

On 10 June 2007, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (France) ordered the UK Government to freeze Babar Ahmad’s extradition until they had fully determined his final appeal. This order remains in place as of June 2010. The ECtHR is expected to deliver judgement in the case sometime in 2010.

Police abuse case

Babar Ahmad was first arrested at his Tooting home on 2 December 2003 by UK anti-terrorist police of 1 Unit 1 Area Territorial Support Group based at the high security Paddington Green Police Station. By the time he arrived in the custody suite of the police station, he had sustained at least 73 injuries, all later documented by both police and independent doctors, as well as in photographic and video evidence.[23]

He filed a complaint that was supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that officers had beaten him with fists and knees, stamped on his bare feet with boots, rubbed handcuffs on his forearm bones, sexually abused him, mocked the Islamic faith by placing him into the Muslim prayer position and taunting, ‘Where is your God now?!’, and applied life-threatening neck holds to him until he felt he was about to die.

On 10 September 2004, the CPS announced that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute any of the police officers involved in the attack. However, on 17 January 2005 the IPCC declared that PC Roderick James-Bowen (born 1971) would face internal police disciplinary procedures over the assault.

On 13 April 2005 PC James-Bowen was cleared at a Police Misconduct Tribunal held at Woolwich Crown Court. Metropolitan Police Commander Andre Baker, the President of the Tribunal, stated that PC James-Bowen should be ‘commended, not castigated... for his great bravery’ in arresting Babar Ahmad.[24]

On 18 March 2009, Babar Ahmad was awarded £60,000 compensation at the High Court in London after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson admitted that he had been the victim of a ‘serious, gratuitous and prolonged attack.’[25]

On 26 March 2009, Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced an inquiry into the Babar Ahmad case with external judicial oversight by retired judge Sir Geoffrey Grigson, to report back to the Metropolitan Police Authority.[26][27]

On 3 November 2009, following his acquittal in a separate racial abuse trial, 42-year old PC Mark Jones of 1 Area TSG was named as being involved with the attack on Babar Ahmad.[28][29] The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, announced that he was taking the case ‘very seriously’ whilst considering whether to prosecute PC Jones and the other officers involved in the assault on Babar Ahmad.[30]

On 12 August 2010, the Crown Prosecution Service announced charges against four Metropolitan Police officers for assaulting Babar Ahmed during his arrest in 2003. PC's Nigel Cowley, John Donohue, Roderick James-Bowen and Mark Jones, who are all members of the Metropolitan Police's territorial support group, would appear before City of Westminster magistrates on 22 September. The four stand accused of a "serious, gratuitous and prolonged" attack and racist abuse. The CPS said they would be charged with actual bodily harm. [31] [32]

Monitoring of MP visit to Ahmad

On 3 February 2008, the The Sunday Times reported that UK anti-terrorist police had covertly bugged prison visits between Babar Ahmad and his local MP, Sadiq Khan, Member of Parliament for Tooting. The bugged conversations took place at HM Prison Woodhill in May 2005 and June 2006. [33]

This information was reportedly leaked to the press by Detective Constable Mark Kearney, the police intelligence officer who conducted the covert surveillance of the visits, in alleged contravention of the Wilson Doctrine that banned Government surveillance of politicians in 1966. [34]

Following widespread international media coverage of the revelation, the Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, announced in Parliament the day after the article was published that he had asked a retired High Court judge, Sir Christopher Rose, to conduct an official inquiry into the affair. [35]

The Rose Inquiry reported back to the House of Commons later in February 2008, stating that the police had done nothing wrong, causing commentators to dismiss the report as a whitewash. [36][37]


e-petition: Put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK

Babar Ahmad is a British Citizen who has been detained in the UK for 7 years without trial fighting extradition to the USA under the controversial no-evidence-required Extradition Act 2003. In June 2011, the Houses of Parliament, Joint Committee on Human Rights urged the UK government to change the law so that Babar Ahmad’s perpetual threat of extradition is ended without further delay. Since all of the allegations against Babar Ahmad are said to have taken place in the UK, we call upon the British Government to put him on trial in the UK and support British Justice for British Citizens

This petition was signed by 149,388 people by the time it closed on 10th Nov 2011, too early to catch the surge of interest in April 2012.


On 5 October 2012, Babar Ahmad was extradited.

Press coverage

And for the 'in your face' juvenile callousness of it - and with some seriously deranged groupies cheering him on in the comments, try this morsel of vitriol:


Documents by Babar Ahmad

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:3 Years in Captivityaccount17 March 2011Babar AhmadBabar Ahmad reflects on the third anniversary of his imprisonment without charge.
Document:Three Shattered Mythsopen letter26 January 2005Babar Ahmad


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:3 Years in Captivityaccount17 March 2011Babar AhmadBabar Ahmad reflects on the third anniversary of his imprisonment without charge.
Document:Three Shattered Mythsopen letter26 January 2005Babar Ahmad
Document:Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 9blog post15 September 2020Craig MurrayCraig Murray: "It has taken me literally all night to write this up – it is now 8.54am – and I have to finish off and get back into court. The six of us allowed in the public gallery, incidentally, have to climb 132 steps to get there, several times a day. As you know, I have a very dodgy ticker; I am with Julian’s dad John Shipton who is 78; and another of us has a pacemaker."
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  1. BBC NEWS | UK | The battle to banish Babar Ahmad
  2. BBC News | UK | Pro-jihad website draws readers
  3. Babar Ahmad appeals for trial to be held in UK - BBC News 5 April 2012 The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed to the BBC that it has only seen "a small number of documents gathered as evidence by the police in this country" and those had been insufficient for a prosecution..... At the time this decision was made, domestic prosecutors were aware of the nature of the evidence in the possession of the US, but the entirety of the evidence was never subject to review in this country as it formed part of the case built by the US and was held there."
  4. Terror suspect wins £60,000 damages from Met Police over assault - The Telegraph, 19/03/09
  5. Stunning Victory for Babar Ahmad - Victoria Brittain, The Guardian, 18/03/09
  6. Police bugged Muslim MP Sadiq Khan - The Sunday Times, 03/02/08
  9. House of Commons Hansard Debates for 12 July 2006
  10. pdf file on US Fifth Fleet alleged vulnerability to RPG attack
  11. pdf file on US Grand Jury Indictment of Babar Ahmed
  12. ]
  13. US Sailor Abu Jihad convicted in the US of passing information to Babar Ahmed
  14. JUSTICE urges reform of extradition law -, July 2006
  16. BBC News | UK | Terror suspect facing extradition - BBC News, 17/05/05
  17. Police bugged Muslim MP Sadiq Khan - The Sunday Times, 03/02/08
  18. Clarke under fire as Briton is sent to US on terror charges - David Pallister, The Guardian, 17/11/05
  19. Parliament webpage search 'Babar Ahmad'
  20. BBC NEWS | UK | The battle to banish Babar Ahmad
  21. BBC NEWS | UK | UK pair lose extradition fight - BBC News, 30/11/06
  22. Suspect Faces Extradition - Andrew Westbrook, The Asian Image, 14/06/07
  24. IPCC Role in Babar Ahmad Case - IPCC Website, 19/03/09
  25. Met Police Admit Sadistic Brutality on Babar Ahmad - Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, 18/03/09
  26. MPA full Authority discussion of Babar Ahmad case - Metropolitan Police Authority, March 2009
  27. BBC News | UK | Police Chief Demands Raid Inquiry - BBC News Online, 18/03/09
  28. PC cleared of race attack was involved in assault on Muslim - Steve Bird, The Times, 04/11/09
  29. Met police may face charges over violent arrest of terror suspect - Paul Lewis and Matthew Taylor, The Guardian, 09/11/09
  30. Cops should face criminal charges following Tooting man's assault, family say - Paul Cahalan, Wandsworth Guardian, 13/11/09
  31. Four police officers face Babar Ahmad charges - Channel 4 News 12 August 2010
  32. Police officers to face trial for abuse of terror suspect - The independent 13 August 2010
  33. Police bugged Muslim MP Sadiq Khan - The Sunday Times, 03/02/08
  34. Whistleblower detective 'warned again and again that bug was wrong' - Stephen Wright and Neil Sears, The Daily Mail, 06/02/08
  35. BBC NEWS | UK | Khan welcomes 'bugging' inquiry - BBC News, 03/02/08
  36. Report on Two Visits by Sadiq Khan MP to Babar Ahmad at HM Prison Woodhill, Report of Investigation by the Rt Hon Sir Christopher Rose, Chief Surveillance Commissioner, February 2008
  37. Why was whistleblower in bugging of Muslim MP scandal not quizzed during inquiry? - Benedict Brogan, The Daily Mail, 21/02/08

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