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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Suspected terrorist shot dead by police in London subway - Police now claim shooting was 'tragic error'

Suspected terrorist shot dead by police in London subway - Police now claim shooting was 'tragic error'

July 22, 2005

MIM: It is worth noting the sympathy and understanding politicians and the public have shown for the ' shoot to kill 'and are glossing over the murder of a Brazilian citizen as " a tragic error".

Contrast this with the outrage and call for international condemnation which a similiar killing would have triggered if it had been done by Israeli police against terrorists.

For their part- Muslims are ecstatic that the terrorist bombings are on the backburner and that the police are now the villians - subject to criticism and having their anti terrorism efforts scrutinised to the point where they may hesitate to respond appropriately when facing a real terrorist threat. In addition the pressure is now off the Muslims to condemn the bombings and call for their community to combat extremism in their midst. Instead they can now complain about police actions and demand an inquiry into law enforcement anti terrorism tactics.

The statements by the head of the Muslim Association of Britain (aka Muslim Brotherhood Association of Britain) Hamas member Azzam Tamimi, and his crony at the MAB show that Muslims are wasting no time in cynically exploiting the shooting as an opportunity to 'protect their own' by focussing the media focus on the police instead of the 4 Muslim bomber wannabes who are being sought in a nationwide manhunt. http://news.ft.com/cms/s/453316bc-fb15-11d9-a0f6-00000e2511c8.html

See also : Shoot to Kill in dock as Al Qaeda plans attacks:

BRIAN BRADY

ANY number of inquiries, perhaps even court proceedings, will eventually establish why police searching for Islamic would-be bombers killed an unarmed Brazilian electrician. But members of Scotland Yard's Specialist Firearms Officers who led the operation, and the man who fired the fatal shots, will not be alone in the dock.

The operation that led the forces of the state to kill a foreigner on a crowded commuter train had its origins further up the chain of command: in the office of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, in the Home Office and in Downing Street itself.

http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1673942005

MIM: According to an article in the Financial Times :

"....The Criminal Law Act states that "a person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime". However, it emerged yesterday that in recent weeks the guidelines have been secretly updated to allow officers to shoot suspect suicide terrorists in less restrictive circumstances, with the advice that they should shoot to the head and not the body in case the suspect is carrying a bomb. A spokesman for the Association of Police Officers said that a "special project group had developed operational tactics to help police respond swiftly and effectively to such threats". The tactics had been developed in consultation with other police forces, including the FBI, the Russian police and other European agencies. The risk, however, is that yesterday's shooting of a potentially innocent person may fuel community tensions and sap police morale as senior management face questions. Downing Street was unable to say whether Mr Blair had been informed of any change of policy since the July 7 attacks but a spokesman said security officials had discussed with the prime minister a "shoot-to-kill" policy - or shooting to counter "deadly and determined attacks" in official jargon - in the wake of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. Senior Whitehall officials sympathised with the dilemma facing armed officers. One said: "The police have a choice regrettably between shooting someone who won't co-operate with them and putting at risk the public. That choice is much more acute when you have a suspected suicide bomber." The Independent Police Complaints Commission could neither confirm nor deny that it would be investigating the incident. Its investigators can have full police powers and rights of access to premises, documents and other evidence.

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MIM: Hamas member Azzam Tamimi told the BBC that non Muslims were also considered by Muslims to be human and he took a swipe at the police obscenely comparing their actions to that of the bombers.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_050724brazil.shtml
"...Those supporting Lord Stevens say that combating terrorism amounts to a war situation and that drastic tactics are needed..."
Muslim Association of Britain spokesperson Dr Azzam Tamimi told BBC News last night that the police should review their procedures. ?Frankly it doesn't matter whether he is a Muslim or not, he is a human being?, he said.Dr Tamimi added: ?It is human lives that are being targeted, whether by terrorists or whether in this case, unfortunately, by people who are supposed to be chasing or catching the terrorists.?


The Islamic Human Rights Commission says that it is wrong in principle to shoot people ?on mere suspicion.? It wants a full enquiry. But Lord Stevens, architect of the shoot-to-kill policy in the face of terrorist threats has been quick to defend it. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.britain24jul24,1,1074198.story?page=3&coll=bal-nationworld-headlines I have full respect for the police, but let's not water down how they exercised their judgment," Azzam Tamimi, head of the Muslim Association of Britain, said last night. "This amounted to an execution," Tamimi said. "We, as Muslims, are afraid," said Ihtisham Hibatullah, a spokesman for the Muslim association. "Whether he was Muslim or not, we know who is being targeted, and beyond that we mourn any innocent life taken, especially when that life is taken by people specifically assigned to protect the innocent," said Hibatullah.

MIM: Even Jihadophile Ken Livingstone justified the shoot to kill policy but took a swipe at law enforcemnent by addeing the caveat that "the city had been transformed by the response".
London Mayor Ken Livingstone acknowledged the transformation of the city caused not just by the bombers but by the response. Bobbies patrolling London's streets are rarely armed, but since the July 7 bombings anti-terrorist forces carrying high-powered weapons have become fixtures around town. Livingstone said he regretted that, and he acknowledged reports that police have "shoot-to-kill" orders under certain circumstances. "If you are dealing with someone who might be a suicide bomber, if they remain conscious, they could trigger plastic explosives or whatever device is on them," he said after the shooting Friday. "And therefore, overwhelmingly in these circumstances, it is going to be a shoot-to-kill policy," the mayor said.

Man shot dead in Tube station

By Brian Walker, London Editor
brian.walker@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

22 July 2005

POLICE shot and killed an apparent suspect suicide bomber in a London Tube station this morning in a "shoot to kill" response to the emergency that has gripped the capital since the four bombs that killed 56 people and injured several hundred on July 7.

Police sources unofficially say an armed response unit were in hot pursuit of a man they believe was involved in launching the second attack on the transport system yesterday, when a further four bombs were triggered but failed to go off.

According to reports, the man was identified on CCTV footage near Oval tube station yesterday, one of those targeted by the bombers.

He was shot dead at 10 o'clock this morning, running into a train at Stockwell station, one stop down the Victoria line from the Oval.

The drama came as thousands of police hunted four suicide bombers from yesterday's failed attacks.

Witnesses say they saw a man jump the barrier and run onto a train, pursued by police.

Police sources say the man was challenged before he was shot, fearing he was about to detonate a bomb, but this was not immediately confirmed.

Witness Mark Whitby said the man was shot five times at close range after he had jumped on the train.

Mr Whitby was reading his paper as the train was stationary with its doors open in Stockwell station.

He then heard people shouting "get down, get down!"

He said: "An Asian guy ran on to the train. As he ran, he was hotly pursued by what I knew to be three plainclothes police officers."

He said the man tripped and was also pushed to the floor. He said: "One of the police officers was holding a black automatic pistol in his left hand.

"They held it down to him and unloaded five shots into him. I saw it. He's dead, five shots, he's dead. It was like an execution."

The man reportedly did not seem to be carrying a weapon or wearing a rucksack.

Chris Wells, a company manager, said he saw about 20 police officers, some of them armed, rushing into the station before a man jumped over the barriers with police giving chase.

He said: "There were at least 20 of them (officers) and they were carrying big black guns."

The shooting is the first time the police have deployed a shoot to kill policy against suspected suicide bombers.

Londoners were today facing up to a second successive day of terror. At one stage, roads around Vauxhall tube station near MI6 headquarters on the south bank of the Thames were sealed off, after passengers were ordered off a train.

One man carrying a holdall was arrested. Armed police went to the scene but there was no immediate evidence of a bomb.

Thousands of police are scouring London in the hunt for at least four bombers who launched a second attack on the capital's transport system exactly a fortnight after the first assault in which 56 people were killed.

This time, scores of Londoners had miracle escapes when all four bombs failed to explode.

Central London now faces the prospect of a possible Belfast-style security blanket. The state of alert today is even higher than after the July 7 attacks.

At Underground stations hundreds more police are part of joint teams with London Underground staff carrying out random searches with sniffer dogs and trying to reassure nervous passengers.

At major business premises throughout the city, private security guards can now be seen outside buildings as well as inside, to give early warnings of suspicious behaviour.

A statement posted today on an Islamic website in the name of an al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility for both sets of London attacks.

The veracity of the statement from the group, Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, could not be verified at once.

On Tuesday, another statement was issued in the name of the same group threatening to launch "a bloody war" on the capitals of European countries that do not remove their troops from Iraq within a month.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/24/nshot24.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/07/24/ixportaltop.html

Police admit 'tragic' error: the man we shot on the Tube was no terrorist
By Andrew Alderson, Charlotte Edwardes and David Harrison
(Filed: 24/07/2005)

Scotland Yard was facing a severe crisis last night after it admitted that the man shot dead at Stockwell Tube station on Friday morning had no links to terrorist attacks on the capital.

The victim, a Brazilian, was shot five times in the head as he ran on to an Underground train pursued by armed officers, including members of SO19, Scotland Yard's specialist firearms unit.

Heavily armed police prepare to storm a house in south London
Armed police prepare to storm a south London house

The Metropolitan police named him as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, an electrician from Minas Gerais who was living in Scotia Road, Stockwell, with three cousins. He is an innocent victim of a new "shoot to kill" policy under which officers have been told to shoot at the head if they believe they are confronting a suicide bomber.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night that there would be an inquiry. "We are satisfied the victim of the Stockwell Tube shooting is not linked to our terrorist inquiry. For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one the Metropolitan police regrets.

"The man emerged from a block of flats in the Stockwell area that were under police surveillance as part of the investigation into the incidents on Thursday, July 21. He was followed by surveillance officers to the Underground station. His clothing and behaviour added to their suspicions. The circumstances that led to the man's death are being investigated."

Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said on Friday that the man was "challenged and refused to obey police instructions". The shooting was "directly linked" to anti-terror operations.

Last night, however, Sir Ian, 52, faced the biggest crisis of his career six months after succeeding Sir John Stevens as commissioner.

Sir Ian Blair faces the biggest crisis of his career

Mr de Menezes was shot less than 24 hours after four suspected suicide bombers failed to set off explosives on three Tube trains and a bus in London on Thursday lunchtime. The next day Scotland Yard released CCTV footage of the men they believed were responsible for the incidents.

It is believed that Mr de Menezes, who is thought to have spoken good English, may have been working illegally in Britain for up to four years. He is thought to have panicked when confronted by armed men as he was about to buy a Tube ticket at about 10am. Witnesses said that he hurdled the ticket barrier, ran down the escalator and stumbled into a carriage.

Three armed officers who pounced on him, might have thought his padded jacket contained explosives. One of them shot five bullets from a handgun into his head in front of horrified passengers.

The man, who was wearing a padded jacket that officers might have thought contained explosives, was pounced on by three officers, one of whom shot five low-velocity bullets from a handgun into his head in front of horrified passengers.

One senior source said last night: "We were led to an address in Stockwell by documents found in the abandoned rucksacks and by our intelligence. This house, which now appears to be a multi-occupancy address, was put under surveillance."

Senior sources disclosed that the address, in Scotia Road, is believed to have been visited by the suspected bomber who abandoned his rucksack at Oval Tube station, south London last Thursday. He was seen on CCTV wearing a jacket with "New York" across the chest.

Last night Muslim leaders called for a review of police guidelines. They insisted, however, that the "shoot to kill" policy was justified if the lives of innocent people were deemed by highly trained officers to be at risk. Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, said: "This is a terrible tragedy and we have to feel sympathy for the dead man, his family and the police. But the basic principles remain. As long as the police have robust procedures in place then, if a suspect ignores a command to stop and is deemed to be jeopardising the lives of others shooting to kill is justified."

Police officials denied reports that one would-be suicide bomber was arrested late on Friday. Officers did, however, carry out an armed raid in Scotia Road late yesterday afternoon.

Scotland Yard is working on intelligence gathered in the past 48 hours showing that some of Thursday's attackers went on a trip to a whitewater rafting centre in Wales that was visited by Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, two of the July 7 suicide bombers. They were at the centre near Bala weeks before taking part in the attacks that killed 52 rush-hour travellers in London.

A package found in Wormwood Scrubs, west London, yesterday, could be linked to Thursday's attacks, police said. An official did not deny that it could be a fifth bomb.

Yesterday's disclosure by police that the man shot was not a terrorist Mr will add to the pressure on Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary. However, Mr Clarke, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal, plans to go abroad on a family holiday this week.

He astonished colleagues by insisting that he will take his long-planned holiday at such a delicate stage of the investigation. He is understood to have been told by police chiefs that his day-to-day presence is "not necessary" as they have the situation, as far as possible, under control.

"I just can't understand Charles's decision," a senior minister said last night.

Gary Streeter, a Tory member of the home affairs select committee and a former minister, said: "It is unwise at this time for Mr Clarke to leave his desk. The man in charge of our policing and security should see this one through."

Mr Clarke has arranged for Hazel Blears, the policing and security minister, to stand in at Whitehall meetings.

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