Anti-terror police have launched an investigation after it emerged that the head of religious events at Glasgow Central Mosque, Sabir Ali, held senior positions in the UK branch of the group Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) – an organisation responsible for terrorist atrocities in Pakistan.

Evening Times:

In documents uncovered by the BBC, the organisation's own publication suggests that both Ali and Hafiz Abdul Hamid, a leader at Edinburgh's Polwarth Mosque, had connections with SSP after it was banned.

SSP was proscribed by the UK government in 2001 and then by the government of Pakistan in 2002 for violence against the Shi’a community.

Documents show that a memorial to assassinated former SSP leader and co-founder Azam Tariq was held at Glasgow Central Mosque in 2003.

Magazine Khalifat-e-Rashida claims a man named Chaudhry Sabir told those attending that Tariq had “won the hearts of the Muslim world” and that “the enemies of Islam killed him” before he vowed to continue Tariq's mission.

According to the magazine, Azam Tariq had also been hosted by Sabir Ali in Glasgow on a number of occasions in the 1990s.

Chief Superintendent Paul Main said his officers have not yet spoken to Sabir Ali or Hafiz Abdul Hamid but an investigation was launched this morning.

He said: "We will seek to try to verify the claims in the media.

"That investigation will take place at the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh.

"It's hard to say how long that will take but we will make every effort to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible."

He added: "There is a range of legislation available. There is an offence under the Terrorism Act about being a member of a proscribed organisation."

Leaders at Glasgow Central Mosque held a press conference this morning, along with Muslims from other denominations.

Sabir Ali was not invited to attend, however he has not yet been suspended from his role as head of religious events at the Mosque. Glasgow Central Mosque Trustee Mohammed Ashraf said: "Once the results of the investigation are clear we will take appropriate action."