The police worker who turned to Islamic extremism


The 26-year-old worked as a Metropolitan Police community support officer in east London between 2007 and 2009.

Though a civilian role, he dreamed of becoming a chief inspector before meeting some “brothers” who turned him to extremism.

He abandoned his policing role and changed his name to Abu Khalid and uploaded videos on the internet explaining why he had stopped “implementing kuffur (non-believer) laws on the streets of London”.

Just weeks before his arrest, Alom also married Ruksana Begum, whose brothers were already convicted terrorists.

Begum was arrested along with her new husband and was jailed for a year in December for having two editions of the banned al-Qaeda online magazine Inspire on her mobile phone.

In a worrying development for the police and security services, Alom had moved back in to the family home in Stratford in the weeks before the Olympic Games were due to be held just streets away.

In his ten minute You Tube video in 2010, Alom – or Khalid – said he realised he was leading a “misguided” life as a PCSO.

He said in that role he was involved in stop and searches and that he now realised he was “implementing kuffur (enemies of Islam) law”.

He said the “Sharia systems is the only way to live”.

Alom and Begum married in June last year, just a month before they were arrested.

Begum, 22, later pleaded guilty to having material which was likely to be useful to someone committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

She appeared in court in December with only her eyes visible beneath a black veil.

The court heard that her brothers, Gurukanth Desai, 30, and Abdul Miah, 25, pleaded guilty to a plot to blow up the Stock Exchange and were sentenced to 12 and 16 years imprisonment respectively in February last year.

She was also previously in a relationship with Mohammed Chowdhury, 22, before he was jailed 13 years and eight months for the same plot after being described as the Stock Exchange gang's "linchpin".

Begum, who has a first-class accountancy degree, admitted having two editions of Inspire magazine on a micro SD memory card in her mobile.

Kate Wilkinson, prosecuting, said: "These items contained both instructional and ideological material."

They included instructions on remote control detonation, handgun training and how to ignite forest fires.

Hossein Zahir, mitigating, said Begum downloaded the material because she wanted to understand why her brothers had taken the path they had.

He told the court: "She is an intelligent and articulate young woman who does not share the views of others who do not care."

Mr Justice Fulford said there was nothing to suggest that Begum was involved in terrorist activity.

"She is of good behaviour and a good Muslim.

"Against this background, I accept on the evidence before me that this defendant gathered together the contents of the SD card in order to explore and understand the charges which her brothers faced."


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