Peter Griffiths – Reuters June 13, 2006
A man shot by police seeking a possible chemical bomb in a London home, and later released without charge, said on Tuesday the officer gave no warning before pulling the trigger.
"We both had eye contact, he shot me straight away," Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, told a news conference. "I just saw an orange spark and a big bang. I flew into the wall, slipped down. There was blood coming down my chest. I knew I was shot.
The east London raid, which involved about 250 police, some wearing chemical, biological and radiological protection suits, was one of the biggest since last July's suicide bombings killed 52 commuters in London.
The apparent failure to find evidence of what one police source called "some form of viable chemical device" and the subsequent release of Kahar and his brother have raised questions over the intelligence that led to the pre-dawn raid.
The high-profile operation has also increased pressure on police chief Ian Blair, already under fire over the fatal shooting on a London train last July of a Brazilian wrongly suspected of being a suicide bomber.
Prime Minister Tony Blair backed the police chief on Monday, saying he was doing a "fine job" and had his full confidence.
Police said they had "very specific intelligence" from a tip-off and had no choice but to mount the June 2 raid.
There have been conflicting reports about how Kahar was shot. Some newspapers said there had been a struggle. Police have said a shot was fired and an investigation is under way.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman declined to comment on the allegations made by the brothers at Tuesday's news conference.
Kahar's brother Abul Koyair, 20, said they were woken by the sound of smashing glass and believed their home in Forest Gate was being burgled because police did not identify themselves.
"They tried to murder my brother," Koyair said. "They dragged me away from my brother and they dragged me down the stairs and they were hitting me.
The pair were released without charge last week after being arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000. A family spokesman said the brothers are Muslims of Bangladeshi origin.
Both denied any link to terrorism and said they had no idea why police had raided their house.
Police have apologised for the disruption caused by the raid but say they had no choice but to act.
Comment – June 13, 2006
Don’t be fooled by police accounts of the shooting, this was no mistake. A point on which Mr Kahar was insistent: "He [the policeman] looked at me straight away and shot. We had eye contact and he shot me straight away."
No warning. Nothing. Like the killing of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who police say was mistaken for a suicide bomber, the shooting of Mohammed Abdul Kahar was another case of British police shooting first and asking questions afterwards.
And just like de Menezes murder, when he was grappled to the ground by plainclothes policemen who did not identified themselves and then shot seven times in the head, Mohammed Abdul Kahar’s shooting seems deliberate and premeditated.
As if the policemen in question were actually acting on orders. Of course they will deny this and probably only a few were given these orders, but take a look at the evidence and it appears that they were actually instructed to shoot someone.
In effect we are being presented with a new and very deadly marketing strategy. Where the British police are being portrayed as deadly killers who may shoot without question and have no one to answer to if they do. After all, they are fighting a “war on Terror” to protect us, or so we are told.
And in the guise of fighting this phoney war the authorities are in the process of extending their powers and establishing a global, police state. The unspoken, subliminal message behind these shootings being: obey or die.
For in the "War on Terror" it is becoming increasingly evident, at least to those who are aware, that it is the authoritites who are committing the terror atrocities, against a gulible and unsuspecting public.
Last updated 15/06/2006