A policeman who sparked a major security alert after ringing in a false threat, claiming that an on-duty officer will be kidnapped by terrorists in December 2014, has been jailed for seven years. Amar Tasaddiq Hussain, 29 from Birmingham, admitted making the hoax call to 999 claiming a Muslim West Midlands Police officer was about to be abducted in the area.
West Midlands Police took unprecedented steps, after receiving what they described as an "anonymous but credible" call, including telling all officers to ring in when they safely returned home after finishing their shift.
At the time of the call, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) warned officers to be vigilant "for their own personal safety" after the police's internal threat level rose from "moderate" to "substantial", meaning there is a strong possibility of attack. The MI5 also advised police officers not to wear their full work uniforms while travelling to or from duty over fears they could be a target of a terrorist attack.
Hussain was arrested less than 24 hours after making the threat along with two other Birmingham men – Adil Bashir, 26 and Muhammad Ali Sheikh, aged 31. Police learned the plot was part of an attempt to implicate fellow members of an Islamic community organisation who they held a "personal grudge" against. PC Hussain sought to discredit a fellow member of Dawat-e-Islami, a faith group which held peaceful gatherings in the West Midlands.
West Midlands Police heard here had been an earlier attempt by officers to arrest a member of the faith group in September 2014 after receiving reports a forced marriage was taking place at an address in Moseley. However, this also later transpired to be a hoax.
Hussain has now been jailed for seven years for making the hoax terrorist threat. Bashir and Sheikh were both handed a three-year sentence. West Midlands Police assistant chief constable Marcus Beale said: "Today's sentencing reflects the severity of what Hussain did. He not only let down West Midlands Police, he has also let down the peaceful organisation, non-political organisation that he was part of.
"The impact of the threat had an unprecedented 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."