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Journalists investigating terrorism may find their research of interest to more than their readers. Index reports on a threat to press freedom
The head of MI5 once described journalist Shiv Malik’s work as “essential reading”. The police clearly think so too: today Greater Manchester police were granted a production order, under Schedule 5 of the Terrorism Act 2000, allowing them access to Malik’s research for his book Leaving Al Qaeda. Malik is now investigating the possibility of an appeal.
Shiv Malik has made his name writing about radical Islamism in Britain for liberal magazines such as Prospect and the New Statesman. His research has attracted the attention of the Pentagon as well as British intelligence.
The verdict on whether a police Production Order should be served on journalist Shiv Malik will not be revealed until next Monday, Index has learned.
Journalist Shiv Malik is appearing in court this morning after Greater Manchester Police requested a Production Order for materials relating to his forthcoming book, Leaving Al-Qaeda.
Malik, who is co-writing the book with former Islamist Hassan Butt, received notice of the order last week. Police are requesting copies of the book, along with any notes and audiovisual recordings Malik and Butt may have made. Police say there are ‘reasonable grounds for believing that it is in the public interest that the Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism Unit has access to [the] material’, as it may ‘demonstrate Hassan Butt’s role and activities in facilitating support for individuals fighting coalition forces in Afghanistan’.