Saturday, June 17, 2006

Police terror in Forest Gate

by Daphne Liddle

TWO YOUNG Muslim men last Tuesday told the world how it feels to be raided at dawn by anti-terrorist police, shot, beaten up and held without charge for a week – only to be released without charge – all on the basis of false information and a climate of hysteria about terrorism.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar, who was shot in the chest by the police, told the press conference he was woken at about 4am by his brother screaming.

“I just had my boxer shorts on and a T-shirt. It was dark and I assumed a robbery was happening. As I made the first step down the stairs, my brother was still screaming and I turned round to look at the stairs.

“As soon as I turned round, I saw an orange spark and a big bang. I flew into the wall and I slipped down.

“I was on the floor. I looked on my right, on my chest and saw blood coming down my chest and saw the hole in my chest. At that moment I knew I was shot.

“The first thing I was thinking was that an armed robbery was taking place. As I went down, I saw an object flying in my face, so I put my hand over my face. At that moment I did not know what object it was, but I know now it was the gun.

“He tried to hit me over the face with it. I saw the shotgun in my chest and I was begging, ‘Please, please I cannot breathe’. He just kicked me in my face and kept on saying, ‘Shut the fuck up’….

“At that moment I thought they were either going to shoot me again or shoot my brother, so I lay there and heard them say, ‘Secure the room, secure the room’. One of the officers grabbed my left foot and dragged me down the stairs.”

Kahar said he did not realise the men were police until he had been dragged out of the house and saw the police vans. They had never said a word about police.

At that point he heard his mother screaming and thought: “One by one they’re going to kill us.”By that time Kahar was in terrible pain from the shooting, he said he felt as though his whole upper body was burning.

This is frighteningly reminiscent of the treatment meted out to Diarmuid O’Neil in September 1996, an unarmed Irish terror suspect, who was fatally shot by anti-terror police in a dawn raid and then dragged bleeding down a flight of stairs while still alive.

Kahar survived and was taken to hospital but was discharged into police custody the next day. Police detained both brothers and interrogated them for over a week. They were totally innocent and no trace was ever found of any chemical weapons. If anti-terror legislation passed at the end of last year were in force now, they could have been detained for up to a month without charge or trial.

This case demonstrates why such laws – part of Bush and Blair’s “war on terrorism” – are so wrong.

The police carrying out the raid had been told they were acting to stop two dangerous terrorists who were in the process of concocting some sort of chemical suicide bomb that could kill hundreds if not thousands.

But the information was false. It came originally from a police informant and passed to MI5 but it was not checked out by anyone.

Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei, the senior Muslim officer in the Metropolitan Police force has called for more rigorous analysis of intelligence in future and for lessons to be learned.

The lesson the Government must learn is that imperialist powers cannot go around the world bombing and invading countries like Afghanistan and Iraq without making their home nations a target for terrorists.

And police raids based on false information, hyped up by anti-terrorist hysteria, can only make the situation worse for everyone.