A TOURIST was arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism after filming himself on his mobile phone outside Churchill Square shopping centre.

Nasser Al-Ansari was taken to a police van for three hours before police decided “there was no immediate threat” but officers kept his mobile phone for further investigation.

The 38-year-old is furious about the way he was treated after being stopped at the Brighton shopping centre and said it is “changing his perception of the U.K.”.

Mr Al-Ansari said he had been recording a condolence message in Arabic for terrorist bombing victims in his native Kuwait in front of the shopping centre last Friday afternoon.

He was ordered to delete the footage by a store security guard, but said he refused because he didn’t think he should or had to. He then complained about the request, at which point police were called.

He said: “I explained what happened and the police officer said, ‘can I have your phone?’ I gave it to him.

“They took my phone and then detained me for about three hours. They took me by car to a car park.

“They said, ‘You are under arrest under article 41 of the Terrorism Act’; anything you say can and will be used against you’.

“I said, ‘I am 100 per cent co-operative. I will go wherever you wish, I just want to go home’.”

Mr Al-Ansari, who now lives in London, was released without being taken into custody and then went back to the police station to try to get his phone, but was refused it.

Mr Al-Ansari said: “It was a very horrible experience and unacceptable to happen without any specific reason or suspicion. “It is changing my perception of the U.K.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said they were called by security staff after they had “had challenged a 38-year-old London man who was filming on his mobile phone and recording in a foreign language.”

The spokesman added: “They were concerned about his motives and he was reported to be acting strangely.”

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Betts, of Brighton and Hove CID, confirmed Mr Al-Ansari had been arrested under the Terrorism Act and released after “an assessment was made that there was no immediate threat.”

He said it had not been possible at the time to examine his mobile phone, so “an investigation continues in order to establish if it contains any evidence of a criminal offence”.

He added: “We always work closely with Churchill Square security and the decisions on the day by them and by our officers who attended were made with the overriding aim of keeping the public safe.”

A Churchill Square spokesman said filming requires prior permission both inside the centre and on the piazza outside.