Apology for London mosque erroneously listed in 'terror database'

Apology for London mosque erroneously listed in 'terror database'
Thomson Reuters has agreed to apologise and pay damages to the Finsbury Park mosque its banking risk management database had falsely linked to terrorism.
2 min read
02 February, 2017
Finsbury Park mosque [AFP file photo]

A north London mosque has won an apology and damages from Thomson Reuters after it was falsely included on a global database linking it to terrorism.

Finsbury Park mosque said the company, which owns World-Check - a global "risk-management" database designed to help banks comply with international sanctions and related financial regulations - agreed to pay damages after it included the name of the mosque under its "terrorism" category.

In addition to a £10,000 ($12,650) payout, the mosque will also be reimbursed its legal fees and be given a formal statement of apology from the multi-billion dollar corporation.

After being listed by World-Check, owned by Thomson Reuters since 2011, the mosque was refused service at numerous banks and had its accounts with HSBC closed in 2014.

"It is unacceptable that any organisation is able to designate people as terrorists on the basis of poor research and for those people to be labelled without any recourse to truth or justice," the mosque said in a statement.

Sara Monsoori, representing the company that now runs Finsbury Park mosque, said Thomson Reuters' subsidiary had made false allegations based on the mosque's former associations, despite new management coming into force in 2005.

Finsbury Park mosque had once been overseen by convicted radical cleric Abu Hamza.

"The profile referred to press reports and allegations from many years ago, long before the mosque was reorganised and the claimant company was established," Monsoori said.

Thomson Reuters said its product had "made the false allegation that there were grounds to suspect that the claimant had continued connections to terrorism".

World-Check's owners, said Mansoori, did not intend to imply that "the claimant had any current or suspected connections to terrorism, and any such suggestions have now been withdrawn by the defendant which has made clear its regret".

This article has been updated on February 3, 2017.

An earlier published version had erroneously implied the complaint had been made against the Reuters news agency, which is also owned by parent company Thomson Reuters, but has no connection with either the World-Check product or the legal case brought by the mosque. It was not our intention to be misleading, and we apologise for any confusion.