Police are reported to have shot dead a man at a South London underground station Friday morning, as they hunted for bombers who struck London’s transport network on Thursday.
The man who was initially reported to be a “suicide bomber” was shot five times by police aboard a packed Tube train, witnesses reported.
Meanwhile police chiefs told Tony Blair yesterday that they wanted new powers to fight terrorism.
A dramatic increase in detention powers, from the current 14 days, was on a list of new security measures urged by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) during a meeting at Downing Street.
The new measures will now be almost certainly approved, as almost on cue the meeting itself was delayed by the bombings in London.
Attended by the heads of MI5 and MI6, GCHQ and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, the meeting heard police chiefs demand new laws to allow them to hold and interrogate suspects for up to 3 months without charge.
Although initial reports indicated that the man shot was an alleged “suicide bomber”, later reports indicated that was not. Whatever the case he was killed outright, so he cannot say anything now that might undermine the official line. Namely that suicide bombers have targeted London, which conveniently necessitates the passage of new laws and the imposition of draconian legislation, without any democratic checks and balances as parliament has closed down for a prolonged break.
However, if the intention was to provoke fear and confusion, the events of July 21 and 22 certainly worked.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I saw them kill a man basically. I saw them shoot a man five times,” witness Mark Whitby told BBC news.
“The other passengers were distraught. It was just mayhem, people were just getting off the Tube … People running in all directions, looks of horror on their faces, screaming, a lot of screaming from women, absolute mayhem.
“It was a very, very distressing sight to watch, and to hear as well.”
Later the same day armed police told residents around Harrow Road in west London, as a resident told the BBC he saw remote controlled trucks that he thought were used by bomb disposal units.
“There’s what looks like a bomb disposal-type vehicle, armoured, and there’s several armed officers around it,” Houst Monfaradi told BBC television, adding there was a huge police presence in the area.