Man who spied on Al Qaeda says daughter was forced out of Edinburgh private school

Aimen Dean says there was a 'toxic environment' at St George's School

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Lajos Soos/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10165402x)
Former agent of Britain's security and intelligence service MI6 Aimen Dean delivers his speech during the MCC Budapest Summit on Migration titled 'The Biggest Challenge of Our Time?' organized by the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) in Varkert Bazaar in Budapest, Hungary, 24 March 2019. Hungary hosts the global migration conference attended by many experts, decision-makers and diplomats in the field from around the world from March 22 to 24.
MCC Budapest Summit on Migration, Hungary - 24 Mar 2019
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A former spy who worked against Al Qaeda has said his 5-year-old daughter was forced to leave a prestigious private girl's school in Scotland owing to the behaviour of parents and teachers.

Aimen Dean has registered a complaint with the Registrar of Independent Schools over how his daughter was treated at St George's School in Edinburgh.

She joined the school in 2019 after Mr Dean and his wife Saadia settled in Scotland having fallen in love with the country's Highlands.

He said he told St George's about his background in December 2019 and MI5 gave assurances that there was no security risk to the school.

But he said he was forced to drop his child off at different times to other children and received "sneering looks" from parents at the gates.

He told The Guardian that the school had a "toxic environment" and that his daughter was shouted at by staff in an incident that affected her confidence.

Mr Dean also said he tried to enrol his son, who has autism, at the school's nursery but this application was rejected, despite initial assurances from staff that it would be successful.

School authorities told Mr Dean that his son would be better off at a school in the Middle East, saying it would be better for "the well-being of both your kids”.

Mr Dean said he was barred from the school after making disparaging comments to parents on a WhatsApp group.

St George's has said it “strongly disputed” the allegations.

Mr Dean, who is now a British citizen, joined Al Qaeda as a bomb maker after fighting in Bosnia.

He turned against the terrorist group after atrocities in Kenya and became a key asset for western intelligence agencies after 9/11. Hew worked with MI6 for eight years.

He passed on vital intelligence that exposed the group's financing and bomb-making capabilities.

A spokesman for St George's said: “We are co-operating with the inquiry and have every confidence that once the registrar has considered the matter, St George’s will be found to have acted fully in accordance with all relevant safeguarding and regulatory procedures.”

Updated: August 22, 2022, 9:55 AM