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Muslim who sued police after being shot in chemical terror raid held on child porn charges

September 3, 2006

Forest Gate victim held on child porn charges,,1837067,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=11

Vikram Dodd
Friday August 4, 2006
The Guardian

The man shot during an anti-terrorism raid by police in east London in June was arrested yesterday on suspicion of possessing and making images of child sexual abuse.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar was detained soon after an official announcement that no officer would face charges for shooting him in the shoulder. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said the shooting had been accidental and that the officer had not meant to fire.

During the raid computers were seized at the house in Forest Gate, with images of child pornography on one that Mr Kahar is alleged to have had access to.

In its report the IPCC said police officers stormed 46 and 48 Lansdown Road after receiving intelligence that a "dirty bomb" was there, which sources say was feared to have been laced with toxic chemicals. The "bomb" was never found.

The officer who fired the shot which hit Mr Kahar was wearing two pairs of gloves as protection. The officer, known as B6, suffered a loss of sensation in his trigger finger and was unaware that he had fired the shot, a senior police source with knowledge of the case told the Guardian.

The house was stormed at 4.17am while Mr Kahar and his brother Abul Koyair were asleep. They told the IPCC they did not realise police had entered the house and thought they were being robbed. They left their bedrooms and ran down the stairs as 15 police officers, all in chemical protection suits, ran up.

B6 said "he and the two brothers came into contact and this caused him to lose his balance and come into contact with the wall. B6 says he was aware of person(s) pulling at his right arm. He states that he feared that the person(s) were trying to take his weapon, and that he feared for his life." The officer heard a pop but as he was wearing ear defenders, a helmet and hooded protective suit, did not realise it was a shot from his own gun.

The IPCC said the shot had been fired from a distance of two inches. Mr Kahar had said he was shot from a distance of three feet, but the IPCC concluded while the officer's account of events was backed up by forensic evidence, the shot man was blameless for giving an inaccurate account.

Scotland Yard is reviewing the equipment issued to officers and their tactics. But the news that the investigation has found the shooting to be accidental and that no officer should face charges will come as a relief for the Met.

In a separate development yesterday Sir Ian Blair, the Met commissioner, was interviewed by IPCC investigators over whether he and his force told the truth about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man shot dead on a London underground train at Stockwell, south London, after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

Sir Ian was interviewed under a police discipline caution and the report, the second examining the shooting, is expected to be completed in the autumn.

Mr Kahar, who strongly denies the child porn allegations, was released on police bail last night. His sister, Humeya Kalam, said she was "deeply disgusted" by the report and felt let down by the IPCC and police.

Special report
Terrorism threat to UK

Related articles
02.06.2006: Man shot in anti-terror swoop
02.06.2006: Accounts from the scene
02.06.2006: Full statement: Forest Gate raid
02.06.2006: First anti-terror shooting since Menezes

Useful links
Metropolitan police
Independent Police Complaints Commission


The Times August 04, 2006,,29389-2298567_2,00.html

Terror raid man is held over 'child porn on computer'

By Stewart Tendler

New allegations against shot man as police are exonerated of wounding in Forest Gate raid

The outfit worn in the raid
THE man shot during a counter-terrorist raid in East London was arrested yesterday on suspicion of possessing child pornography as police watchdogs concluded that his wounding was accidental.

Police allegedly found the pornography on a computer seized in the June 2 raid and held Abul Kahar Kalam, 23, while he was visiting a London police station. He was questioned by officers from the specialist child abuse unit before being released on police bail last night. Mr Kahar's lawyers said that he strenuously denied the claims.

Police first arrested Mr Kahar with his brother, Abul Koyair Kalam, 20, over intelligence fears that a chemical bomb had been hidden in their family home. No device was found and both brothers have protested their innocence.

During the raid on 46 and 48 Lansdown Road, Forest Gate, which involved about 250 officers, Mr Kahar was shot in the shoulder.

In its report on the incident, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said that the policeman who shot Mr Kahar had not acted recklessly or maliciously and should not be prosecuted or disciplined. The report said that forensic analysis had shown that he had accidentally shot Mr Kahar at a range of less than two inches during a confrontation on a dark, narrow half-landing.

The officer, who is a member of an elite firearms unit, was the first of 15 officers into the home. He was wearing a protective suit and gloves, a helmet, ear protectors and a respirator. At the time of the shooting the safety catch on his gun was off. When the gun fired it was in an almost upright position, fastened by a sling and not a normal firing position.

The officer, code-named B6, said that as he went up the stairs in the house he shouted "armed police", but the respirator could have muffled his voice. He reached the half-landing and, the report said, "was aware of two figures approaching at speed. B6 states that he and the two figures came into contact and this caused him to lose his balance and come into contact with the wall."

He told the commission that he felt his right arm being pulled and was afraid someone was trying to take his gun. He said that he then heard a pop but did not realise this was a shot.

The pressure on his arm lessened and he saw a man sitting on the floor. When he turned on his torch, which had been off during the struggle, he saw a stain on the man's shirt and realised then that the pop had been a shot.

Mr Kahar told the commission that the first he knew of the early-morning raid was a scream from his brother. He went on to a landing and saw above him his brother and below men in black. He said that he did not hear them speak or realise that they were police.

The commission said that Mr Kahar thought that the men were robbers and "believes when he was less than three feet from the man there was a bang and an orange flash. He says he felt a pressure but did not realise he had been shot."

Neither his brother nor other members of the family saw him being shot. Other police were behind B6 and did not see what happened either.

In its conclusion, the commission said that the incident must have been very frightening, shocking and very quick for Mr Kahar and that these factors would have probably affected his recollection.

Deborah Glass, who is head of the commission and oversaw the investigation, said she was satisfied there was no evidence of intent or recklessness on the part of the firearms officer. She said that there was also no evidence to support claims that one of the brothers had fired the gun or that the officer had fired deliberately.

She said that the commission was still investigating complaints made by the families involved in the raid, including allegations of assault, unlawful arrest and detention.

The report was welcomed last night by Tarique Ghaffur, assistant commissioner for Metropolitan Police and head of the firearms team. He said that there had been "much ill-founded, premature and one-sided comment made to the media leading to speculation regarding this operation and how a man came to be shot. Much of this was heavily critical and could have damaged public confidence in us."

He said: "I make no excuses for the fact we acted upon that intelligence as no one can be in any doubt that the terrorist threat to the capital remains very real.

Humeya Kalam, Mr Kahar's sister, said that she was "deeply disgusted" by the findings. She said: "I feel we've been let done by the IPCC as well as the police. They haven't done a thorough investigation they seemed to have rushed it. When they first spoke to us they told us it would take at least seven months and this has been done in just over two months."

Lawyers for Mr Kahar said that they were "utterly mystified" to learn that the commission had not interviewed the officer who shot Mr Kahar. Instead, the commission had accepted statements the officers had prepared themselves, "a most unusual and unsatisfactory practice". They said that the forensic scientist had not been able to say whether the gun had been fired accidentally, and that they would be instructing their own investigator and looking at challenging the decision.

The lawyers added that they had asked the commission to delay its report because Mr Kahar was being interviewed over child pornography claims.

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