Anti-Terror and Ethnicity

Memories of Menezes come flooding back when reading reports of another anti-terrorist “swoop” ending in the shooting of a “terror suspect” by the police.

The story so far.

Abdul Khayar Abul Khoyair

After a tip-off from M15, 250 police officers in oxygen masks and “protective chemical gear” raid a house in Forest Gate, East London, that they have surveilling for months. Their target: two Bangladeshi brothers, Abul Kalam, 23 (left) and Abdul Khoir, 20, (right) who live with their extended family. Following the raid, the elder of the Kalam brothers was shot in the shoulder. Both men are alive and have been questioned in Paddington Green high security police station where they are being held under the Terrorism Act.

Murdoch’s cum rag (The News of the World) reported that the one of the brothers accidently shot the other during a “scuffle”. Mr Khoir has issued a statement that this was not the case. The police are however sticking to the story that they did not pull the trigger. The shooting has obscured the police’s pretext for the raid which was that these men are terrorists supspected of planning a chemical attack but the bomb/device remains unfound.

The Scum of the World can’t resist helping itself to a shameless plug:

One line of inquiry was that the gas was to be released in a busy and enclosed shopping centre, which mirrors the current plotline in the Sky hit drama 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland.

The NoTW dickweeds are willing to obscure any set of facts if they can throw in a Sky Network/Murdoch plug into their copy somewhere. As a sharp-minded commenter on Pickled Politics observed: “How enterprising that News International which owns both ‘The Sun’ and ‘Sky One’ should make use of this incident to publicise their fascist fantasy series”. Quite.

And what about the bio-chemical threat that pre-empted this raid? No news of the “chemical jacket” or any other device have yet turned up. The officials have conceded as much.

Not that I don’t trust the Press and the Police to tell the truth but Menezes was the straw that, if not broke, went a long way to damage beyond repair, the camel’s back in regard to an unquestioning acceptance of the safety the police are willing to provide to innocent members of the public during these initiatives. This was a surprisingly thoughtful article from the desk of the Mail on Sunday asks some pertinent questions:

A tip from an informant, grandiosely described as ‘intelligence’, suggested a serious danger. Quite properly, the police decided that the tip needed to be investigated. Presumably, their inquiries suggested that an arrest was justified.

And from that point on, the matter is rightly one for the criminal justice system. But it is the manner in which the arrest was carried out that is questionable. Were the extraordinary numbers of officers really needed, when the public are constantly being told that there is not enough manpower available to deal with ordinary crime and disorder? Was the shooting a justified use of extreme force, or a needless bungle?

If police were hoping to capture alleged terrorists in possession of dangerous materials, why was the area not evacuated first?

So the question that the public needs to ask is what exactly constitues ‘intelligence’? Can the words of any informant, however unvetted, be be used to back up an extraordinarily public display of shock and awe, as we saw here, which only serves to incense communities?

If this incident adds more reason to call police incompetent for these very public cock ups terror raids that end up looking like targeted racism, then the police have only themselves to blame.

77 Responses to “Anti-Terror and Ethnicity”

  1. shafiur Says:

    Ian Blair desperately needs a big headline story to bury all his cock-ups and to muffle the calls for his resignation. And with John Reid as the home sec his master’s leash isn’t that tight despite everything. It is a wonder that Reid himself wasn’t involved in the raid like he was with the freed foreign prisoners raid a few days back. Tony still wants you to be scared…

  2. sonia Says:

    i don’t understand why they don’t share more information with the public - surely the more people out there who know what’s going on the better? open society and all that. all this ’secretive’ stuff just makes everything that much harder to deal with.

  3. Sid D H Arthur Says:

    Shafiur: This has Rottweiler Reid’s paw marks all over it. This is him lifting his leg up to mark his territory.

    Sonia: If anything, society is becoming more and more closed as opposed to open.

  4. thepoetryman Says:

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  5. thepoetryman Says:

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  7. Serious Golmal » Blog Archive » Don’t Get Mad, Cooperate Says:

    […] Following the dawn anti-terror raids in Forest Gate on Friday, officials have admitted doubts of finding any evidence of a chemical plot. Official statements are now frankly admitting that a single peice of “specific information” from a single police informant precipitated the action of 250-strong anti-terrorist police squad. From BlInk: Senior counter-terrorism officials now believe that the ‘specific intelligence’ was wrong as intense search of the house in Forest Gate, East London failed to produce any sort of a link between the two men arrested and a chemical plot on Britain. […]

  8. Sid D H Arthur Says:

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