A Muslim pilot. Now there is a good idea. Then we can dispose of all those horrifically expensive anti-terrorist devices we use as they can’t possibly protect us from the actual pilot! Good thinking there British Airways. Like Europe itself you have found a way to lose a war in a manner that no-one can possibly help you recover or much less, win it.
Last updated at 1:55 AM on 5th February 2012
A Muslim pilot arrested over an alleged terrorist plot involving an aircraft was a senior first officer for British Airways and flew Boeing 747 jets.
He can be identified for the first time today as Surrey-born Samir Jamaluddin.
The 39-year-old is suing the airline for racial and religious discrimination after losing his job.
He was judged a security risk after his arrest by Scotland Yard counter-terrorism detectives in 2007, and the airline decided it was in the national interest to ensure he never flew again.
He was eventually dismissed three years later.
The pilot was unmasked when employment tribunal reporting restrictions were lifted on Friday after 12 days of highly charged evidence, allowing the case’s extraordinary circumstances to be revealed for the first time.
During the case – described as unique and unprecedented – the tribunal heard that BA became increasingly ‘frustrated’ at the previous Labour Government’s failure to act over the issue.
In private, the security services and the Department for Transport’s security arm, Transec, backed the airline’s decision to prevent Mr Jamaluddin from flying.
But they failed to pursue the matter or support BA officially, even after BA’s former chief executive, Willie Walsh, raised the matter with then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.
BA was told the Government was not prepared to instruct the firm to withdraw Mr Jamaluddin’s airside security pass because, at the time, it was ‘particularly sensitive to its handling of terrorist threats’.
The tribunal heard this was because some suspected terrorists had recently had their convictions overturned on appeal.