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Angry families threaten legal action against police over anti-terror raid

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  • Angry families threaten legal action against police over anti-terror raid

    The Muslim man shot by officers protests his innocence and accuses them of failing to give a warning:

    A young Muslim man shot by police on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist chemical plot last night protested his innocence and alleged that police failed to give warning before opening fire.

    Solicitors for Mohammed Abdul Kahar and his brother Abul Koyair, who was also seized in a dawn raid on Friday involving 250 police officers, said they denied any wrongdoing.

    A family who live next door to the brothers alleged that they were also arrested and assaulted, leaving one man with a head injury and needing hospital treatment. They are considering legal action against the police.

    Kahar was shot in the shoulder during the raid in east London as police reportedly searched for a 'suicide vest' that would pump out poison gas - a claim questioned by MI5 yesterday. As he remained under armed guard in hospital, his solicitor, Kate Roxburgh, described her client's account of the shooting: 'He was woken up about four in the morning by screams from downstairs, got out of bed in his pyjamas obviously unarmed, nothing in his hands and hurrying down the stairs. As he came toward a bend in the stairway, not knowing what was going on downstairs, the police turned the bend up towards him and shot him - and that was without any warning.'

    She added: 'He wasn't asked to freeze, given any warning and didn't know the people in his house were police officers until after he was shot. He is lucky still to be alive.'

    Julian Young, solicitor for Koyair, said: 'My client denies any involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist offences and has maintained that position from the start.'

    Speaking after a closed court hearing in central London, Young said Koyair was due to be interviewed by officers again this morning. He added that Kahar was expected to be released from hospital around lunchtime today and to be taken to Paddington Green high security police station in west London.

    He added: 'The situation is that the district judge has authorised a further period of detention up to Wednesday. If the police have not completed their inquiries by then they must either charge, release on bail, take no further action or apply for a further warrant.'

    Kahar was shot as armed officers descended on a family terraced house on Lansdown Road, Forest Gate, in the early hours of Friday. He was later arrested under the Terrorism Act after being treated for the gunshot wound in the Royal London Hospital. Koyair was also held in the raid, which involved police officers, MI5 and biochemical experts.

    Yesterday a family detained by police during the raid also denied any involvement in terrorism activity and said it was considering legal action. In a statement, the family, who lived in the terrace adjoining the brothers' house, said they 'would like to make it clear that we are completely innocent and in no way involved in any terrorist activity'.

    The family, reportedly four adults and an eight-month-old child, said that police had questioned them for 12 hours before releasing them without charge on Friday afternoon. They added in a statement: 'We would like to express our deep shock and anger at the operation that took place. My family members and I were physically assaulted. I received serious head injuries that required hospital treatment. We are liaising with our legal team on the course of action to take.....'


  • #2
    Officials admit doubts over chemical plot

    Intelligence behind terror raid questioned as proof remains elusive

    Counter-terrorism officials conceded yesterday that lethal chemical devices they feared had been stored at an east London house raided on Friday may never have existed.

    Confidence among officials appeared to be waning as searches at the address continued to yield no evidence of a plot for an attack with cyanide or other chemicals. A man was shot during the raid, adding to pressure on the authorities for answers about the accuracy of the intelligence that led them to send 250 officers to storm the man's family home at dawn.

    Officials are not yet prepared to admit the intelligence was wrong. But there is diminishing optimism that it will be shown to wholly or even partially correct. Speaking of the feared chemical devices, one official said: "They might be elsewhere or never existed."

    The raid, at 4am on Friday, was launched after MI5 received intelligence from an informant of the existence of a viable chemicial device at the property, which was to be used in an attack in Britain with the potential for substantial loss of life.

    During the raid a 23-year-old Muslim man was shot, and he and his brother were arrested on suspicion of terrorism.

    Scotland Yard said yesterday that searches at the property would continue for several days. Sources with responsibility for the security of the transport system, one of the most likely targets of a chemical device, say they have not been made aware the searches have produced any trace of a chemical device, either at the address in east London or elsewhere. "So far nothing from the search bears out the intelligence," said one source.

    The Guardian has learned that over the weekend police intensified their planning for dealing with community anger if it turns out the intelligence was wrong.

    Security and intelligence officials yesterday defended the decision to raid the house: "We have a duty of care to the general public, we can't do [police anti-terrorist] operations by halves," said one official.

    A senior police source explained the police's dilemma: "In other crime you can take a risk to firm up the intelligence. The trouble with this new world of terrorism is you don't have the time, you can't firm up the intelligence to the point you like.

    "The public may have to get used to this sort of incident, with the police having to be safe rather than sorry."

    Anti-terrorism police yesterday began questioning the man shot in the raid, after his release from hospital. His lawyer named him as Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who with his brother Abul Koyair, 20, protest their innocence and deny any link to Islamist extremism.

    Mr Koyair's solicitor, Julian Young, denied media reports that his client had any criminal convictions. Lawyers for the men also denied a report that Mr Kahar had been shot by his brother after grappling with an armed police officer for his gun.

    Mr Kahar's solicitor, Kate Roxburgh, said the 23-year-old Royal Mail worker had been shot in the upper right hand side of his chest, with the bullet exiting through his shoulder on an upwards trajectory. She said his brother had been standing behind Mr Kahar at the time.

    Both solicitors said there had been no struggle before the shot was fired without warning, but Ms Roxburgh said Mr Kahar had grabbed the gun after he was shot fearing it would be fired again, leaving him with a burn to his hand from the hot barrel.


    Great line that, eh? "The public may have to get used to this sort of incident, with the police having to be safe rather than sorry." So who is going to be safe? And who is going to be sorry?


    • #3
      Lawyer condemns 'wild west' police raid

      A family caught up in Friday's police operation to stop an alleged terror plot yesterday spoke of how they thought they were about to die when police armed with machine guns smashed their front door and stormed through their terrace house in the dark of night.

      Three men, a woman and an eight-month-old baby were asleep in their rented home on Lansdown Road, in east London, when officers from Scotland Yard's S019 elite firearms unit made their way into the house. The family live next door to Mohammed Abdul Kahar and his brother Abul Koyair, who were arrested at around 4am by police hunting for traces of chemicals which MI5 feared would be used to stage an attack on Britain.

      The family, who originally came from Gujerat in western India, said they barely knew their neighbours, whose heritage is Bangladeshi. They rented the house from the father of the two arrested men and said the only time they spoke to him was when he came to collect their rent. Kahar was shot in the operation on his home at number 46 and following hospital treatment was yesterday being questioned at Paddington Green high-security police station. Their family claim they have nothing to do with terrorism.

      Yesterday, Hanif [he does not wish his second name to be published], the brother of one of the tenants of number 48, said when he saw the police with machine guns he thought they were going to kill him. "I was so terrified, I thought I was going to die," he said.

      Hanif had been asleep when he heard a commotion. He got up as the bedroom door was forced open by police. "I saw a guy with a machine gun pointing and he hit me on the side of the head straight away with the butt. Another man hit me behind my knees, then tied my hands with plasticuffs. I saw blood coming from my head. The guy noticed it and took a bandage out and put it on me."

      Hanif was visiting his brother Ayub - a local imam who was working at the time of the raid - who lives in the house with his partner, Rukhsana, their baby and his two nephews, Feroz, 32, and Inayat, 35.

      Rukhsana, 39, said she had gone to the bathroom when she found strange men in the house. She ran to her room. "I thought they were thieves," she said. "They said take your baby ... I realised they were not thieves but police. When we had to leave I said could I prepare some milk for the baby and put some clothes on because I was in my nightie but they said no."

      Each of the family had their DNA and fingerprints taken and were asked about the basement under their house used by the alleged terror suspects. They said they knew nothing about it except they had assumed it was a gym. None of the neighbouring family were arrested and they were released without charge. They have not been allowed to return to their home, which has been sealed off.

      The family are being advised by the solicitor Gareth Peirce, who is representing the relatives of Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot dead by anti-terrorist police in a botched operation. "They were never arrested, instead they were assaulted and unlawfully detained. Police officers are particularly warned that any blow to the head is potentially fatal. This was as lawless as the wild west."

      Yesterday, local Muslims sought assurances that the whole raid was not undertaken on flimsy evidence.

      Local police chiefs began touring the local mosques on Friday afternoon, as part of an effort at "community reassurance".


      • #4
        THE rules of engagement for armed police are under renewed scrutiny today, after it emerged that the officer involved in the shooting of a suspected terrorist told independent investigators that it was an accident.....

        Terror raid shooting accidental, say police

        Terror suspect too ill to question


        • #5
          Has the 'War on Terror' lost its way? All too often it seems to be a pretext for the spreading of panic and the exaggeration of fear - combined with a failure to foresee or prevent actual outrages.

          We have had tanks uselessly deployed at Heathrow Airport, the non-existent plan to attack Manchester United, the fantasy plot to poison the people of London with ricin - and the shooting dead of a wholly innocent man, mistaken for a suicide bomber.

          And now we have the East London poison raid.

          This was no simple arrest. There are suggestions that it was preceded by lengthy and rather obvious surveillance. Then, in conditions of total publicity, the authorities deployed a force of police large enough to invade a small country and even imposed an air exclusion zone. A man has been shot and wounded. There is as yet no sign of the poisoned suicide vest supposedly being sought.

          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?

          The way in which the action was conducted kindles the suspicion that it had a propaganda purpose as well as a security purpose - that it was intended to demonstrate the vigilance and striking power of MI5 and the police just as much as it was aimed at collaring alleged terrorists.

          Coming so soon after the new Home Secretary's self-publicising appearance at a raid on alleged illegal immigrants, and at the end of another disastrous week for the Government as a whole, it also raises another disturbing question: was the planning of the operation influenced by political considerations?

          Of course terrorism has to be fought and terrorists caught and punished. But subtlety and cunning are often better weapons in this battle than noise and bluster. And whose purpose does it serve by spreading alarm and fear?

          Why the need for shock and awe in tackling terror?


          • #6
            Intelligence behind raid was wrong, officials say:

            Senior counter-terrorism officials now believe that the intelligence that led to the raid on a family house last Friday in a search for a chemical device about to be used to attack Britain was wrong, the Guardian has learned.

            Counter-terrorism officials were under pressure last night after days of meticulous search of the house in east London failed to produce anything to link the two men they arrested to a chemical plot. But a senior police officer said they had been left with "no choice" but to force entry into the house because there was specific intelligence of a threat to public safety.

            One official, with knowledge why police acted and what had been found from days of searching, said the intelligence had been acted on correctly, but added last night: "There is no viable device at that house. There is no device being constructed, or chemicals. There does not appear to be anything there or anywhere else."


            • #7
              Police and security services were facing fresh scrutiny last night as it emerged that a high profile anti-terrorist raid on a Muslim family in London may have been based on flawed intelligence.....

              Anti-terror police face scrutiny after shooting


              • #8
                MPs fear police terror raid will hit community relations

                Police and the intelligence services have been warned by Muslim leaders and MPs that the Forest Gate raids have had a damaging effect on community relations in the fight against terrorism.

                As detectives were granted more time to question two men arrested in east London last week, supporters of a drive against Islamophobia condemned the operation.

                Ghayasuddin Siddique, leader of the Muslim parliament, said: "It has been an absolute disaster, it's shameful... Police and the intelligence services have lost all credibility."

                Dominic Grieve, the Conservative home affairs spokesman, said: "I don't think you can minimise the adverse impact of events like those of the last week. If somebody has their door kicked down at four in the morning it sends out a very negative impression about the nature of our society."

                He said the raids may prove to have been justified, but if they turned out to be mistaken it would make Muslims feel "confronted and embattled" .

                Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting, said the police needed to " reflect on the downside of their activities". He said: "There's a concern about the willingness of the community to volunteer information [to the police] if their neighbour, someone down the road, their son has been treated unfairly."

                They were speaking in Westminster at the launch of a commission on ways to combat Islamophobia.

                Its chairman, Richard Stone, said: "Police and politicians need to show a bit more sensitivity....."



                • #9
                  Muslims in east London should withdraw co-operation with the police in the wake of last week's terror raid in which a man was shot, a Respect party activist has said.

                  Yvonne Ridley said the community was being "terrorised" by the Metropolitan Police and should end all contact with the force.

                  But a senior officer said relations on the ground were vital to ensuring difficult issues were handled in a sensitive way.

                  Ms Ridley, a former journalist who converted to Islam after being kidnapped by the Taliban, said: "I don't think the Muslim community should communicate with the police any more until they start showing some respect to the community.

                  "There are Muslim community leaders - largely self-appointed - who regularly hold meetings with the police," she said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

                  "I'm afraid these leaders are confusing access to the top brass with influence. The reality is that they have neither. What we are witnessing now is the terrorisation of one community...."

                  Continue reading..... Respect urges Muslims to end police co-operation


                  • #10
                    Police try to appease Muslims after raid


                    • #11
                      Brothers arrested in 'terror raid' are freed without charge

                      Two men arrested in an anti-terror raid in east London were released without charge last night.

                      One week after police swooped on their home in Forest Gate, Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who was shot in the shoulder during the raid, and his brother Abul Koyair, 20, were freed.

                      Both had been detained under the Terrorism Act 2000, suspected of being involved in a plot to make a chemical device that could be used in a terrorist act.

                      They had denied any involvement in a terrorist plot and the raid, which involved 250 officers, some dressed in chemical suits, has attracted severe criticism from the local community and prominent Muslim leaders.

                      The operation will also raise questions about the accuracy of the intelligence used in the raid and the role of the intelligence agencies.

                      A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The intelligence received by police continues to be developed and we will continue to exhaust all lines of inquiry. As we look forward, we will continue to engage with all communities and respond to issues that are raised."

                      The release will also be potentially embarrassing for the Government after Tony Blair had said earlier this week he was "101 per cent" behind the police....



                      • #12
                        Muslim anger after terror raid brothers found to be innnocent


                        • #13

                          Scotland Yard warned MI5 it had serious reservations about the credibility of the source whose information triggered the Forest Gate anti-terrorism raid only hours before police stormed the suspects' house in east London.

                          Whitehall sources told The Observer last night the reservations were passed up the chain of command to senior officials in the office of Sir Richard Mottram, the government's security and intelligence co-ordinator, but despite the concerns the police were ordered to go in.

                          'It wasn't the fact that the information was based on a single source, it was more that the police doubted the credibility of that source,' said a Whitehall official. 'The intelligence was doubtful. On the Thursday night [hours before the raid] there were contradictions about how strong the intelligence was.

                          'There came a point when officials in the Cabinet Office were made aware that the police believed they were being placed in difficulty because of the quality of this intelligence.'

                          The revelation comes as the News of the World today publishes details of a leaked copy of the Independent Police Complaints Commission report into the tragic shooting of the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell station, south London, last July in the wake of the London tube and bus bombings.

                          The newspaper claims the report reveals how senior officers knew de Menezes was not a suicide bomber just hours after he was killed. But they failed to tell the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair until the following day.

                          The leaked report details a catalogue of police blunders, including failing to pass on alerts from the undercover team that they were tailing an innocent man. It also suggests that there was a delay of five hours in deploying a specialist firearms unit that could have taken de Menezes alive.

                          The publication of the IPPC report will put further pressure on the beleaguered commissioner, who is already facing new questions following this month's raid and shooting in east London .

                          Last night Gareth Peirce, the lawyer acting for the family of the two brothers seized in Forest Gate, said they would be launching legal action for damages against Sir Ian. 'But it will not be enough; the emotional damage will be enormous,' Peirce said. 'In similar cases, some individuals never recover from an incident like this.'

                          She said the officers failed to give a warning during the raid and did not identify themselves as police. 'The family thought they were armed robbers wearing helmets with their visors pulled down,' Peirce said.

                          'Nobody identified themselves as police as they stormed in wearing terrifying black hoods and started bashing them over the head. They only realised they were officers when they saw the word police on their backs.'

                          Yesterday the family were in temporary accommodation because the police had gutted their house in their search for evidence. 'The family are going to be stunned when they see their house,' a source said. 'The walls have been knocked down, the doors taken out. It's a complete mess.' The Metropolitan Police have pledged to undertake any appropriate 'restoration work'.

                          Disclosures that Scotland Yard was unhappy about the credibility of the individual who tipped off the intelligence services will raise questions about the use of the informant. It was this individual's information that led directly to the arrests of Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who was shot during the raid, and 20-year-old Abul Koyair.

                          The brothers were released on Friday without being charged after being held for a week on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. The Forest Gate raid is not the first time that a high profile anti-terrorist operation has resulted in men being released without charge days later. Last October, 10 Iraqi refugees were arrested in Derby, Wolverhampton and Croydon amid media reports of plans for a wave of car bomb attacks across Britain.

                          The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, said it was one of three major Islamic militant plots foiled since last July. However, security sources have confirmed to The Observer that no evidence of any terror plot was ever found and all the men were freed within a week.

                          Last night, leaders of the British Muslim community demanded an investigation into the intelligence services' use of sources in the Forest Gate case.

                          The raid had created 'considerable unease in the Muslim community', said Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain.

                          It has emerged that the police had only expected to find a trigger or mechanism, not all the components to make a chemical weapon. 'It would be unique for bomb-makers to make entire bombs in a family house,' said one person familiar with the situation.

                          Security services remained unapologetic yesterday, warning that similar operations would follow if specific intelligence was received.

                          'There are dozens of mass casualty attacks being planned against ... the UK', a senior counter-terrorism official said, 'and when we have what we believe is genuine intelligence that life is at risk, we have to act.'

                          Scotland Yard told MI5 of terror tip doubt


                          • #14
                            One of the two London brothers released without charge after being arrested in an anti-terrorist raid has said their only crime was being Muslim.

                            Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who is recovering from a bullet wound to the chest, and Abdul Koyair, 20, demanded an apology from police who ordered and carried out the dawn swoop on their east London home on June 2.

                            Speaking publicly for the first time about their ordeal, Kahar told reporters: "The only crime I have done in their eyes is being Asian and with a long length of beard."

                            London's Metropolitan Police and its chief, Ian Blair, have come under fire for mounting such a large-scale but ultimately fruitless raid.

                            Officers spent a week scouring the brothers' house in Forest Gate, reportedly looking for some kind of chemical weapon, but found nothing to support their suspicions.

                            Describing the raid at a news conference with his brother, Koyair said they were woken by the sound of smashing glass and believed their home 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."

                            Kahar said the police officer gave no warning before pulling the trigger.

                            "We both had eye contact; he shot me straight away.

                            "I just saw an orange spark and a big bang. I flew into the wall, slipped down. There was blood coming down my chest. At that moment I knew I was shot."

                            The elder brother said that as he lay on the stairs, bleeding and fearing for his family, he was kicked in the face by a police officer.

                            He said he was grabbed and dragged down the stairs and thrown on the pavement outside.

                            It was only then he realised the men raiding his house were police.

                            Kahar's shooting, which is under investigation, has stirred memories of the police killing of a Brazilian man who was wrongly identified as a suicide bomber on the London subway in July.

                            Asked about the future of Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, the brothers stopped short of calling for him to resign.

                            Koyair said: "Whoever is responsible should be put to justice, whoever gave the order for this to happen."

                            The east London raid, which involved about 250 police, some wearing chemical, biological and radiological protection suits, was one of the biggest since July's suicide bombings killed 52 commuters in the capital, 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 pair were released without charge last week after being arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000.

                            Both denied any link to terrorism and said they did not know why police had raided their house.

                            London police have apologised for the disruption caused by the raid but say they had no choice but to act.

                            U.K. brothers demand police apology


                            • #15
                              Police source for Forest Gate raid 'had IQ of 69'

                              Fresh embarrassment for Metropolitan Police as critics demand commissioner must step down:

                              A man with lower-than-average intelligence is believed to have prompted the anti-terror raid in London's Forest Gate, during which one man was shot, it was claimed last night.

                              In what could prove to be highly embarrassing for the police and security services, the 22-year-old man, who has an IQ of just 69, was the trigger behind the dawn raid this month, according to the Sunday Mirror.

                              The former waiter, a childhood friend of the two brothers who were arrested during the raid two weeks ago, was jailed for six years in January for terror offences.

                              The paper has been told that it was after friends of Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, visited the man in top-security Belmarsh prison that the brothers were put under surveillance.

                              The brothers reportedly laughed off the fact that they were being followed by the security services. New information passed to the services, said to include detailed drawings of a suicide vest, led to Operation Volga and the early morning moves to arrest the pair, the paper claims.

                              Friends of the brothers told the paper they believe the man was the trigger for the operation that culminated in 250 police officers descending on their home.

                              Mr Kahar was shot in the shoulder during the raid in the early hours of 2 June, before being taken for questioning. The pair were released a week later without charge.

                              The claim is set to pour fuel on the pyre already being assembled around the career of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair. Calls for his resignation have intensified in the wake of the force's high-profile raid.

                              Critics, including some of his own officers, politicians and members of the Muslim community, have said that he must step down.Today, Muslims plan to hold a rally in East London in protest at the raids.....


                              Mohammed Abu Bakr Mansha

                              Ex-waiter Mohammed Abu Bakr Mansha, 22, was a childhood pal of the two brothers arrested in the dawn swoop by police two weeks ago.

                              In January he was jailed for six years for terror offences - and even described in court as an "utter incompetent".

                              Soon afterwards, friends of brothers Abul Kahar, 23, and Abul Koyair, 20, visited him at top-security Belmarsh, South-East London.

                              And, the Sunday Mirror has learned, that meeting sparked a surveillance operation on the men by the security services. According to a friend of the brothers, they laughed at constantly being followed. Our source said: "It was so obvious we treated it as a joke."

                              Then new information came through, said to include detailed drawings of a suicide vest.

                              That led to Operation Volga - the botched police operation to arrest the brothers, which led to Kahar being shot. After seven days in custody they were released without charge amid claims of incompetence and brutality.

                              Friends of the men believe dim Mansha was the trigger for the extraordinary operation.

                              Mansha's lawyer Sara O'Keefe revealed how her client was moved just before the raid from high-security category 'A' Belmarsh to a softer category 'B' jail. She did not know why he got the favourable treatment, or whether he unwittingly helped MI5. Told that the brothers knew they were being followed she said: "That sounds about right."

                              Mansha - serving six years for possessing an old address of a British Army war hero, which police suspected was part of a terror plot - is appealing against his sentence. His trial revealed him to be educationally subnormal with an IQ of 69 - compared to the average of 100. In the US that would make his court evidence unreliable.

                              If Mansha is confirmed as the trigger for the raid, it will be hugely humiliating for the security services in their battle against terror.

                              Police and intelligence officials claim the information was from a reliable single source who knew the brothers and whom the security services had dealt with before.

                              But our probe suggests that if Mansha was at the centre of the investigation, the intelligence is highly suspect and deeply embarrassing for MI5. Vajahat Sharif, lawyer for one brother, slammed the "scattergun" approach, saying it would lead to police targeting more innocent people. He said: "Where does this stop? What about Mansha's friends, family or neighbours? They know him, so presumably they're terrorists."

                              A friend of the brothers said they'd grown up with Mansha. He said: "We used to play in the street. Abu was strange. He'd suddenly lose it. Once while playing street football, he got upset as no one passed to him. He took out a gun and went pop, pop, pop." He added: "Once I saw him pee in the eye of a man lying on the floor, for fun. I've seen him do all sorts, bad things, because he's a nutter - but he's no al-Qaeda bomber. He needs help, not banging up. A few guys visited him in jail. I didn't go as I didn't like him, but suddenly Kahar and Koyair were being followed. It was so obvious we all treated it like a joke. Maybe if I'd gone too they'd have raided my house and shot me. It's a f***ing outrage."

                              On June 2 at 4am 250 officers, including forensic and chemicals experts, waited at the terraced home of their parents Abul Kalam and Alif Jan. Bursting through a window, 50 cops met Kahar and Koyair on the stairs. Kahar was shot in the shoulder. They were held for seven days as police dug the garden and drilled holes into walls seeking a chemical device.

                              A week later police issued a grudging apology, outraging locals. The brothers are suing for distress, wrongful imprisonment and damage to their house. But a pal said: "They don't blame Abu, he's an old friend. But he's capable of saying and doing anything. If he did say anything it would be madness if the police took him seriously."

                              Ex-intelligence analyst Crispin Black, who is investigating the case, said: "To think that a prisoner with an IQ of 69 could be at the centre of this operation is sheer lunacy. If this is the 'intelligence' trigger for the raid it shows something has gone seriously wrong. Everyone knew about the surveillance - children were knocking on car windows asking officers who they were watching. If they were terrorists, they had plenty of warning. They also arrested them at home, where they could be near an explosive device, rather than at work.

                              "Making intelligence judgements is their core skill. If they don't do it properly it's depressing.

                              "Police and security services must now be open and honest, and tell us what this '' intelligence was and why they acted the way they did. Without that - and with the brothers' very believable testimony -we're left with public cynicism which will' make it harder to trap terrorists."

                              Was M15 trigger for bungled terror swoop.... a prisoner with I.Q. of 69?


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