09/06/2006 4 min #1193

Démocratie ou Allemagne nazi?

Police State Britain: Lawyer condemns 'wild west' police raid

Le 5 juin 06 à 07:42, Laurence a écrit :


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


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".