Shoot to kill in nervy London
London, July 22: A man, said by passengers to be “Asian”, was pinned down on the floor of an Underground train at Stockwell station in south London today and shot through the head five times by plainclothes policemen hunting for the London bombers.
“This sort of thing happens only in Hollywood movies,” exclaimed a TV journalist.
It seems British Pakistanis determined to introduce suicide bombings in London are now up against a police shoot-to-kill policy.
Initial reports had suggested that the dead man was a suicide bomber, one of the four being hunted from yesterday when devices which did not explode were left on three Underground trains and a bus in east London.
But since police have released CCTV pictures of four men they want to question in connection with yesterday’s attacks, it seems unlikely the man shot dead was one of them.
Sources said the shooting was done by a special anti-terrorist unit at Scotland Yard known as SO19.
The identity of the dead man was not disclosed when Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, briefed journalists today.
He would only say that the shooting was “directly linked” to anti-terror operations. “The man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions,” he said.
Chris Wells, a 28-year-old company manager, said he saw police officers rushing into the station as the man they were chasing jumped over the barriers.
“There were at least 20 of them and they were carrying big black guns. The next thing I saw was this guy jump over the barriers and the police officers were chasing after him and everyone was just shouting ‘get out, get out’.”
Another witness, Mark Whitby, saw the shooting at close range. He said: “An Asian guy ran on to the train. As he ran, he was hotly pursued by what I knew to be three plainclothes police officers.
“He sort of tripped but they were hotly pursuing him and couldn’t have been more than two or three feet behind him at this time. He half-tripped, was half-pushed to the floor,” said Whitby.
“One of the police officers was holding a black automatic pistol in his left hand. They held it down to him and unloaded five shots into him. I saw it. He’s dead, five shots, he’s dead.”
Whitby added that the man did not seem to be carrying a weapon or wearing a rucksack. “He looked like a Pakistani but he had a baseball cap on, and a thickish coat.”
He went on: “It was a coat like you would wear in winter. Maybe he might have had something concealed under there. But it looked out of place in the weather we’ve been having.”
The Muslim Council of Britain said Muslims were concerned there was a “shoot-to-kill” policy in operation.
Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman, said Muslims were “jumpy and nervous”.
Professor Paul Rogers of Bradford University said today’s actions by the police appeared to have parallels with the “very strong” methods used by Israeli security forces and US troops in Iraq.
This news is important to me as I am asian and this makes me feel uneasy as the guy from thier point of view looked asian even though the guy was an arab[font=verdana,trebuchet ms,georgia]London police shoot down suspected bomber
[/font]A suspected suicide bomber has been shot dead by the London police at the Stockwell underground station, an area near Oval station - one of the sites of yesterday's blasts.
There was chaos and confusion on a Northern line tube this morning when a train passing through South London suddenly pulled into the Stockwell tube station.
Eyewitnesses say a man of Asian appearance got into the train pursued by three police officers in plain-clothes.
As the train stopped, passengers were asked to evacuate. But one eyewitness saw the police officers fire at the man wearing a bulky coat with a black handgun five times, killing him.
Meanwhile, a group linked to the Al-Qaida, Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade, which claimed responsibility for the July 7 attacks, has posted a statement on an Islamist website, saying it carried out Thursday's bombings.
In dramatic new developments, the London police have released pictures of four individuals thought to be involved in yesterday's attacks, asking the British public to come forward with any information on them.
The police have reiterated that they are targetting no particular community, only criminals.
The police are also hunting for would-be bombers who fled after detonators went off, causing small blasts, but failed to detonate the bombs themselves.
But amid this intensive hunt, London commuters put up a brave front on Friday morning, getting back onto buses and underground trains.
One person was injured in Thursday's minor blasts that rattled the city again in an eerie déjà vu.
The incidents occurred at Warren Street, Oval and Shepherds Bush tube stations and a number 26 double-decker bus at Hackney.
The police have made two arrests in connection with the new attacks. One man was arrested near Downing Street, the site of Prime Minister Tony Blair's residence.
The other was nabbed near Tottenham Court Road, which is near the Warren Street subway station where one of the incidents took place.
Appeal for calm
Appealing for calm, the British Prime Minister said the intention of the bombers is loud and clear - to strike terror in the hearts and minds of the British people.
"We know why these things are done. They are done to scare people and to frighten them, to make them anxious and worried," said Blair.
The explosions came just two weeks after suicide bombers struck in the heart of the city targetting London's public transport system.
Fifty-two people and four suspected suicide bombers were killed in the July 7 attack.
'Shoot to kill' policy
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain has said that Muslims are concerned about a possible "shoot to kill" policy.
"There may well be reasons why the police felt it necessary to unload five shots into the man and shoot him dead, but they need to make those reasons clear," said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesperson.
British Asians are also starting to admit that after generations of assimilation with British culture, these events may have caused irreversible damage.
"Since this has happened, people look at us very differently. It's because we are the same colour as the people who are creating these problems. But I think this is happening everywhere in the world. England is a safer country compared to others," says Jojar Singh who stays in London.
Exactly two weeks after the London bombings, the city was once again the target of terror attacks.
Even though police services were quick to react, shutting down transport links in affected areas, questions are now being raised as to how the blasts could happen in the first place, as London remains in a state of high alert.
And while Londoners seem resigned to their new way of life, this incident is likely to fast track the anti-terror laws proposed by the government.
What better way to sew fear and terror than to make your target govement appear to attack people without checking anything other than appearence first, in a way they let the terrorists win
I wonder if the police officers actuaily got orders before hand to shoot to kill or did they do it out of spite
I doubt they need to shoot the guy 5 times in the head when he is already on the ground and easily handcuffed and draggen tot he police station