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January 28, 2010

UCL Islamic Society database to be shared with other intelligence agencies

Anti terror police have told the University College London (UCL) Islamic Society (ISoc) that they would share their database of members with other intelligence agency if they were requested to do so, The Muslim News has exclusively learnt.

The database, including addresses and telephone numbers, was obtained by officers from the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorist Command (SO15) from UCL Students Union after the President of the ISoc, Abdul Mojeed Adams-Mogaji refused to hand over the details. Information was also released on the membership of the Medical Islamic Society, aka, RUMS ISoc.

The request was made in connection with the alleged bombing plot at Detroit airport on Christmas Day planned by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was President of the Islamic Society at UCL between 2006 and 2007. But the handing over of membership details has raised data protection concerns among Muslim students at the university, especially after the police said they would keep the records for seven years and were prepared to share it with foreign agencies, according to the former President of UCL ISoc, Qasim Rafiq.

Rafiq told The Muslim News that the Students’ Union not only released the database of the 800 members of the ISoc but also of, RUMS ISoc. In addition, he said that the database of members of UCL ISoc members was also given from 2005 to 2008 as well as for 2008/09, a year after Abdulmuttalab had left the University.

In its editorial this month, The Muslim News questions about the right of the police to seek additional information and why was it being retained and possibly shared, saying it was “hardly compatible with the intended purpose.” The Muslim community, it said is “under intense surveillance and so many blunders have already been made in so-called intelligence-led terrorism raids.”

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