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‘MI5 ruined my life’ says London Cypriot
A BRITISH Cypriot living in London, Constantinos Alexandrou, is suing the Metropolitan Police after his house was used by members of MI5 to watch terrorist suspects in 2006 claiming the whole ordeal ‘had destroyed’ his life.
According to the Daily Mail, Alexandrou, from Walthamstow in North London, told Central London County Court how he assisted the police and security services by giving over his home for surveillance, as it was immediately opposite the bomb factory being run by al-Qaeda-inspired plotters.
Although he played a part in foiling the 2006 bomb plot, which was billed as comparable to the 9/11 tragedy, he was later wrongfully arrested twice and falsely imprisoned, the Daily Mail reported.
His barrister Stephen Chippeck said: “He told them that he loved his country and would help in any way that he could. They asked to borrow his home and he persuaded his partner of 25 years to assist.”
After agreeing to leave their home, something his partner at the time did not agree with, they lived in a hotel. This led to the collapse of his relationship, according to Alexandrou. After the three terrorist suspects were arrested, Alexandrou attempted to return home, only to be arrested on two separate occasions by members of the police as he tried to enter his home.
He also told the court about a third run-in with armed police, when he feared he was going to be shot, after they stopped him while walking through a park and demanded to see identification
According to the Daily Mail, following the first arrest, Alexandrou started sleeping rough under the bushes outside Wood Green police station, as he did not feel safe.
The Daily Mail goes on to explain the plot was the biggest terror investigation in the UK and intelligence officers believe it was directed by al-Qaeda figures in Pakistan. It led to changes in aviation rules worldwide that left passengers unable to take liquids into the cabin of passenger aircraft.
Security officials on both sides of the Atlantic believe the men wanted to kill people in the air and possibly more on the ground in a wave of attacks causing more devastation than the 11 September attacks in the USA.
On 7 September 2009, a jury at Woolwich Crown Court found Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, Assad Sarwar, 29, and Tanvir Hussain, 28, guilty of 'conspiracy to murder involving liquid bombs' and therefore that the target of the conspiracy was the airline passengers.
The plot was said at court to have been discovered by MI5 using covert listening devices in a flat in east London. Ali and Sarwar must serve at least 36 years, while Hussain was jailed for at least 32 years.
In July 2010, Ibrahim Savant, 28, Arafat Khan, 28, and Waheed Zaman, 25, were found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court and sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to murder. They must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison before being eligible for release.
The Metropolitan Police deny the claims of false imprisonment, wrongful arrest and Alexandrou's claim for aggravated damages.