Originally Posted by savafan
Any word on who the man was that London police shot this morning? I just caught a bit of it on the news on my way to work.
By Jimmy Burns and Cathy Newman in London
Published: July 24 2005 20:35 | Last updated: July 24 2005 20:35
Police chiefs investigating the London bomb blasts were under growing pressure on Sunday over the shooting dead of an innocent man as they faced a backlash from the Muslim community and some politicians.
The controversy surrounding the shooting on Friday of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian electrician living in London, is a serious setback for the capital's police, who are trying to build trust with British Muslims to gain vital intelligence on extremist elements. Last night police made a third arrest in connection with the July 21 attempted suicide bombings.
On Sunday, ministers and senior police officers defended a policy of shooting dead individuals suspected of being suicide bombers, in spite of calls from British Muslim groups, human rights bodies and politicians for a public inquiry.
Since the shooting, police have confirmed that two years ago they secretly changed operational guidelines allowing officers chasing suspect suicide bombers to shoot them in the head.
Jack Straw, British foreign secretary, said he regretted Mr de Menezes' death but it was important to appreciate “the very intense pressure under which police officers have to work”.
Sir Ian Blair, the chief of London's Metropolitan Police, apologised to the family of the Brazilian man, but left open the possibility that more people could be shot as part of the war on terrorism.
But relatives of Mr Menezes - who was innocent of any links with the London bomb attacks - have threatened to sue British police for compensation.
The Brazilian government said it was “shocked and perplexed” and was awaiting clarifications from British authorities. Celso Amorim, Brazil's foreign minister, in London on Sunday for a meeting to discuss United Nations reforms, said he had received apologies and guarantees of a full investigation from the British government.
Calls for a public inquiry were backed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. Massoud Shadareh, a spokesman, said: “Britain is a democracy. We cannot allow police to kill people simply on the basis of suspicion and without anyone debating the policy that belongs to a police state.” Sir Ian said yesterday the investigation was proceeding at “an extraordinary pace”, as police hunted four suspect suicide bombers and those involved in helping them “financially and operationally”.
Police are certain the four terrorists behind the bomb attacks on the London public transport system of July 7, which killed 56 people and injured over 700 others, died in the explosions.
But they believe at least four people behind the failed attacks last Thursday are still in the UK, and evidence is emerging of links to those who killed themselves.
They have raided several homes in London, and made three arrests, while continuing to liaise with investigators overseas. Police fear the bombers, who are still at large, may try to confront them in bloody engagement or attempt to carry out fresh attacks.
The developments in London came in a weekend marred by terrorist violence in differenct parts of the world. In Egypt, at least 88 people were killed and hundreds were injured in terror bombings in two Red Sea resorts on Saturday. In Iraq, up to 40 people were reported dead on Sunday after a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with expolosives into a police station in the Iraqi capital.