A report in a national newspaper indicates that a Security Service listening device provided the critical evidence leading to the conviction of 4 men for beating up Bow religious studies teacher Gary Smith. A fifth man was jailed for helping to hide the attackers’ blood-stained clothing.
The Times, published Friday May 27, stated “the bug had been secreted in the car with the authorization of the Home Secretary because of concerns that some of the men might be engaged in terrorism.”
Mr Smith was left with a fractured skull after being subjected to a violent assault. His attackers did not approve of his teaching at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Tower Hamlets.
Neither the Metropolitan Police nor the Security Service officially confirm or deny any details of MI5 operations. The Times reports that the device was in the car for more than a month after the attack before agents removed it and intelligence officers listened to the recordings.
They discovered the gang planning the attack and then boasting about it after Mr Smith had been left with serious injuries and then passed the evidence to Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command.
A source explained to East London Lines that it was not unusual for surveillance operations to not be ‘monitored as live.’
Since 2001 the Security Service has had to prioritise its resources to focus on imminent terrorist plots. The analysis of the recordings of authorised bugs is not always contemporaneous.
After Judge John Hand jailed Akmol Hussein, Azard Hussain, Meraj Rashid and Simon Alam for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and Badruzzuha Uddin for assisting an offender, the Metropolitan Police said:
Police were not aware that an attack was being planned or going to happen. The material used in the prosecution was only obtained after the event.