He was convicted largely on the basis of evidence that was collected while he was under surveillance in Dubai and the UK in 2005. He was not arrested at that time, however; instead, he was permitted to travel to Pakistan where he was detained by an intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence, notorious for its use of torture.
The courts have heard that Manchester police and MI5 officers then drew up a list of questions to be put to Ahmed by the Pakistani agents. By the time he was deported to the UK, three fingernails were missing from his left hand. Ahmed also alleges he was beaten, whipped and deprived of sleep.