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Medical student cleared of terror charges slams police probe

Yousif Badri was arrested after finishing his exams at the University of Aberdeen.

A medical student cleared of terror charges is demanding answers from Police Scotland.

Yousif Badri was arrested shortly after finishing his exams at the University of Aberdeen in 2013.

He was alleged to have behaved "with the intention of committing acts of terrorism" after downloading extremist magazines and videos.

But the 30-year-old was found not guilty in October and is now seeking compensation from the people who forced him to put his life on hold.

"I've complained about what happened and asked several questions. I feel like I should be financially compensated," he said.

It emerged during the trial that the 30-year-old had only sought out extremist material in an attempt to understand terrorists.

Mr Badri explained: "To build bridges you have to understand the issues extremists use.

"You have to know what their narrative is and counter that narrative. You have to actually read what they argue. If you can get to the essence of their arguments you can unpick them."

Many of the foundations of the prosecution's case were thrown out during the month-long hearing.

It was suggested that because Mr Badri had a tub of nails and no hammer that the nails could have been used to make a bomb.

But the nails had been brought to the flat by Mr Badri's father while he was carrying out DIY work and the hammer had been borrowed by a friend.

Photographs which the prosecution claimed showed Mr Badri posing with an AK47 actually showed him holding a plastic toy.

"The photograph is about ten years old, it was taken in my late teens as a joke between friends," Mr Badri explained.

"It wasn't posted on social media or used to intimidate anyone. It's distasteful but it was a joke."

The prosecution claimed he was drinking protein shakes and exercising to get his body ready to commit terrorism - but the jury heard that Mr Badri had a pacemaker fitted and had to keep fit.

Mr Badri said: "These things don't link together but they were forced together to make a case more serious than it is."

He was arrested in June 2013 the day after finishing his medical exams.

"I went to Sainsbury's to get lunch and as I was exiting, two plain clothes officers came towards me and told me I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act," Mr Badri explained.

"My initial thought was to tell them I hadn't stolen the sandwich."

Mr Badri said he "fell to the floor with shock" when it became clear what he was being charged with.

He was then released from custody and moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire ahead of his trial in September 2015.

Giving evidence, his mother Dr Bardia Wagiealla wept as she told the High Court in Glasgow that her son was "trained to save lives, not waste lives".

Since being cleared, Mr Badri has re-sat exams and now plans to work as a doctor in Aberdeen.

He added: "It's been very difficult to put the pieces back together - I felt like a leper.

"From a career point of view you have to rebuild your knowledge and skills and I feel like I'll carry the stigma for the rest of my life.

"But I have more good memories than bad here and I have lots of good friends. I don't think I feel like I should run away - there's no need to hide."

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