6 June 2006
Last Friday, 2 June the full force of the state was brought to bear on an East London street following a “tip-off” that the location was being used to build some kind of chemical bomb. In the ensuing melee of police, MI5, security agents, the ‘anti-terrorist’ squad and who knows who else, 250 in all plus a helicopter (and a 6 square mile ‘air exclusion zone’, though what did the state expect, a daring rescue/attack by helicopter?).
And by the end of the immensely expensive operation, two young men, Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, and his brother Abdul Koyair, 20 were arrested, and Kahar was shot under what seems to be very suspicious circumstances. No weapon was recovered and the unfortunate fellow it seems, was shot with a rifle (inside the house, on the stairs and in his pajamas). A rumour escaped as they say, that he had been shot by his brother (to stop him from spilling the beans?) but according to the injured man’s lawyer:
“He was coming down a flight of stairs, his brother was behind him and above him on the stairs. He was shot from in front by an officer at close range,” she said.
“He saw it happen, he knows what happened, he is 100% clear on that, there was no struggle.”
But according to the (typically) unnamed source:
The News of the World, quoting a Whitehall source, claims Mr Kahar was shot accidentally by his 20-year-old brother, who is being held at Paddington Green police station.
The source said the gun had gone off in a scuffle, and that police officers were “adamant” that they did not pull the trigger.
But this was yesterday (4/6/06), by today this story had been airbrushed out of the ‘news’.
Mr Kahar’s solicitor said that “there is no question of the fact that the police fired the gun”.
As with the Menézes murder, ‘rumours’ surface, invariably from an ‘unofficial’ police (or intelligence) source, fed to a voracious corporate media, only too willing to collaborate in beating the ‘Islamic Fundamentalist’ fear drum.
As the story has unfolded, there are now more questions than answers. The alleged chemical bomb has not been found, despite a minute and, as the press loves to call it, “finger tip” search of the house (or rather two, connected houses as well as a neighbour’s house, where an unfortunate individual was beaten about the head, requiring a trip to the hospital and stitches), a search that extended to the two young men places of work.
According to the unfortunate neighbours, they were hustled off and interrogated for twelve hours and then released, an accusation the police deny.
It seems the entire enterprise was based upon a “tip-off” from a ‘super-grass’, a so-called ‘turned terrorist’. The police say the ‘intelligence’ was absolutely sound, no doubt from the same people who gave us Saddam’s WMD.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Met’s anti-terror branch, said the operation was planned in response to “specific intelligence”.
He said the purpose of the raid was to prove or disprove intelligence they had received. So much for the “specific intelligence”.
So where’s the ‘chemical bomb’? What’s the bet it’s never found? Timing is everything with these operations coming as it does when the US are under intense scrutiny over the Haditha and other massacres, so what better than a convenient ‘Islamic fundamentalist bomb plot’ diversion?
And as the days pass, it looks like the police have a lot of explaining to do. Already, there are reports that the ‘intelligence’ wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be and it looks as if the police are already prepping the public for just such an eventuality, with one statement originating from an unnamed police source of them “getting egg on their faces” over their so-called “specific intelligence”.
The police are now saying that they had no choice but to act on the ‘intelligence’ they received, and that this is but the “tip of the iceberg” of terrorist plots. Well they would say that wouldn’t they. But consider that when pursuing ‘ordinary’ criminals, evidence is gathered, lines of inquiry are pursued. But when it comes to the ‘terrorist threat” however, gathering evidence is no longer a science but an “inexact art” in the words of one ‘expert’.
In other words, under the cover of the ‘terrorist threat’, even the vaguest accusation becomes the basis for terrorising entire communities, truly a witch-hunt. Judging by this event, we can expect more of the same over the coming weeks and months, with other, almost exclusively Muslim communities the target of massive swoops by hundreds of police and security agents, all suitably equipped with the ‘right’ gear designed to look most impressive on the TV news.