Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Mail group pays Inayat Bunglawala al-Qaeda damages

Inayat Bunglawala
Associated Newspapers accepted all the allegations were false

A government adviser on combating Muslim extremism has accepted "substantial" damages over a newspaper claim he supports al-Qaeda.

Inayat Bunglawala, from Luton, brought libel proceedings against the Mail on Sunday for a March 2009 article.

It wrongly claimed he was an extremist supporter of al-Qaeda and radical Palestinian-Jordanian cleric Abu Qatada, and had stabbed a man in 2008.

London's High Court heard the newspaper accepted all allegations were false.

Systems engineer Mr Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, was appointed in 2005 as one of seven conveners for a Home Office taskforce to combat extremism in young Muslims.

'Condemned' al-Qaeda

Mr Bunglawala's solicitor, Stevie Loughrey, told Mr Justice Eady his client had not committed any criminal act in relation to the alleged stabbing in December 2008.

He had acted in self-defence to protect himself and his family against an intruder, who it had later turned out had been so drunk he had had no recollection of the incident, the court heard.

Mr Loughrey added his client did not support or condone the views or objectives of Abu Qatada or al-Qaeda, and had gone on the record many times to criticise and condemn the terror network.

The Crown Prosecution Service has not taken any action over the claims.

Mr Loughrey told the court Associated Newspapers, which owns the Mail on Sunday, admitted the allegations were false, had apologised and would pay substantial damages and costs.

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