In July 2010, Tony Farrell, the Principal Intelligence Analyst of South Yorkshire Police reviewed available evidence for his annual threat assessment against the people of South Yorkshire, England. He came to the conclusion that it was less likely that the events of 9/11 and 7/7 were al-Qaeda terrorist attacks than ‘false flag’ terrorist operations carried out by the intelligence services of western governments. As the alleged al-Qaeda attack in London was thought to have been planned in Yorkshire, and his annual threat assessment took into account the local threat from terrorism to the people of South Yorkshire, he reported his concerns to senior officers. He asked for time to produce a new assessment that included the threat from intelligence services as well as al-Qaeda.
His commitment to professional standards at South Yorkshire Police that he must ‘not knowingly make any false, misleading or inaccurate written statements’ was reinforced by a religious belief that he ‘must not bear false witness’. When senior police officers would not give him additional time to revise his threat assessment, he refused to sign off the annual threat assessment on the basis that it would be misleading.
Senior police officers suspended, and later dismissed, Tony Farrell from his job on the grounds of ‘incompatible beliefs’. At the internal appeal hearing by South Yorkshire Police, the chair stated: ‘Your views are very sincere and you may be right but it is, I’m afraid, incompatible at the moment with where we are’ (Mr Hiller, Director of Finance, South Yorkshire Police, 2nd September 2010). Later, at his appeal on 6th October 2010, and again at the Employment Tribunal in September 2011, Mr Littlejoy (chair of the appeal panel) claimed that Tony Farrell’s views were ‘conspiracy theories invented without any evidence’ and that they were ‘outlandish’.