Police win access to book research

Author ordered to hand over research for book on former Al Muhajiroun member

The co-author of a book on a former Al-Qaeda recruiter and fundraiser has been ordered to make his research for the book available to police.

Shiv Malik’s book, ‘Leaving Al-Qaeda’, co-written with its subject Hassan Butt, is due for publication by Constable & Robinson next month. Butt is a British citizen who has admitted recruiting fellow Britons for al-Qaeda and raising tens of thousands of pounds for terrorist organisations. He has since renounced terrorism and engaged on a programme of ‘de-radicalisation’ of Islamic extremists, leading him to be invited to discuss his ideas with Home Office minister Tony McNulty.

Yet at the same time Greater Manchester Police were investigating him as a terrorist suspect. Their Counter Terrorism Unit yesterday obtained a production order under Schedule 5 of the Terrorism Act 2000, allowing them access to Malik’s research for the book. Malik, whose works on the 7/7 London bombings were once described by the head of MI5 as “essential reading”, is investigating the possibility of an appeal.