AN Oxford University staff member was investigated after online material linked him to international Islamic terrorism, it has been revealed.
He was suspended from work when the prestigious university learned the non-academic worker, who could not be named for legal reasons, was arrested for terrorism offences and detained in Italy five years ago.
It was understood that the man, who is in his mid 30s, was alleged to have spread extremist material but that he denied all charges.
He is reported to have spent two and a half years being detained in multiple jails.
Last night the university said it had alerted Thames Valley Police as soon as the alarming revelations came to light earlier this month.
An internal investigation into the staff member’s background was conducted by the university but police are yet to make an arrest.
It was unclear how long the man had worked for the university or had been living in Britain for.
It was understood that he was arrested in the Marche region of eastern Italy in 2012 as part of a wider investigation into Jihadi extremism.
Reports from the country said he had converted to Islam after studying Arabic, changed his name, and had wanted to travel to Afghanistan to “join the war-fighting formations of the Holy War”.
He was also in a relationship with a Moroccan woman and one report claimed counter terrorism police in Italy arrested him in March 2012 after he was about to leave the country and go to Rabat in the North African country.
The suspect had reportedly sent emails containing links where the recipient could download operational manuals on how to execute terror attacks and guerrilla techniques.
Authorities said he, along with others, were considered a major link between international Jihadists and an Italian network.
Another report suggested the worker was jailed in “institutes” across Italy before he was released in 2014 and moved to England, where he was later employed by Oxford University.
A spokesman for the university said he was suspended from work pending an investigation and that the principal of St Anne’s College, Helen King – a former assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police – was due to head up a review of the circumstances surrounding the case.
Thames Valley Police said today it was not investigating any offences related to the worker.