back to article Met's de Menezes photo 'manipulated', says prosecution

A composite image of Jean Charles de Menezes and Hussain Osman "was manipulated so as to mislead", it was claimed at the Old Bailey today. The composite was produced by the Metropolitan Police in evidence in order to illustrate similarities between the two men, and to show that police could have difficulties distinguishing the …

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Paris Hilton

Yea

"it could not have been produced simply by using PowerPoint software"

No sh*t sherlock.

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Stop

Powerpoint?

"...the Met's composite appeared to have "greater definition" than the two images used to produce it, and that it could not have been produced simply by using PowerPoint software"

POWERPOINT! That's it. My will to live has just vaporized.

On the Panel (Irish version of Mock the Week) the other day, Neil Delamare translated "Guards" to the englishman as "They're like your police, except they don't shoot Brazilians in the back". Top gag. Tragic case.

John

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Silver badge

What difference does it

Why are they arguing about this. Unless the prosecution is seriously trying to prove the Met police knew it wasn't Osman, does it matter whether the photo was changed or not. The Met made an incorrect identification for whatever reason. That is fact. At that point, the outcome was somewhat fixed given what the believed target was supposed to be.

Unfortunately, it is a given with suicide bombers that errors in identification cannot be corrected later. People are incorrectly identified all the time. The difference is that they don't have a large amount of explosive strapped to their bodies and suicidal intent. By defintion, you can't allow a suicide bomber to defend himself (by saying I'm not that man) because if you do, they will detonate the bomb.

This was a very regretable event, but it will occur again as long as suicide bombers are around. The worst part of the whole case for me was the misleading statements being issued by the Met long after they realised their mistake. As soon as they did, they should have admitted it and started trying to do the right thing. Instead, they mislead which made everything look bad and is if people were trying to hide things. A large part of the responsibility for this should be attached to the commissioner who made or authorised the misleading statements.

For whatever reason, we are at war with certain parties. And with any war, civilian casualties are to be expected and cannot be avoided. This man was the first, but won't be the last.

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

I have to point out that this kind of manipulation of the evidence wouldn't be possible under Trusted Surveillance. (see http://www.fullmoon.nu/book/side_issues/IdentityCards.htm)

All evidence would be catalogued and digital hashes of the data stored on an immutable audit trail in as near to "real time" as possible. (Not a major problem with "helmet cams" for example). Only evidence which had a digital timestamp and matching hash would be admissible in court.

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Stop

expert witnesses

Expert witnesses have a duty to the court, to provide accurate evidence or supportable opinion. So manipulating an image file to make de Menezes look like another 'terrorist' would be an attempt to mislead the court if he had not declared what he had done to the image.

I look forward to the Judge's ruling on this.

As far as I can make out the main similarity is the haircut, possibly he used the same hairdresser ;) you can't be too careful now.....

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Dead Vulture

@Mad Mike

"The Met made an incorrect identification for whatever reason." - This is the point of the trial. The reason for the pictures is presumably to establish if it was an easy mistake to make and if either side distorts the photos to make the two men look more or less like each other then they are supplying false evidence to a court room.

None of this alters the fact that the MET implemented and used a "shoot to kill" policy. Surely the british public have enough of an issue with being caught up in a terrorist incident without having to worry about being shot by the police too.

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@ Mad Mike

Actually it matters a great deal.

*If* the police subsequently altered the publicly-released image of De Menezes so that he more resembled a terrorist suspect, it can only have been an attempt to make their actions seem more 'reasonable'.

As you mentioned, the Met made a number of misleading statements about the shooting, but this, if proven, would be an outright case of deliberate deception.

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We are at war with certain parties???!?

Am I the only one left in this country that notices that prior to Tony Blair taking "our boys" into Iraq there were NO Islamic terrorist incidents in this country? Who declared war on who exactly?

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@Harry Stottle

Oh dear.

Your idea is unworkable because there is no such thing as an immutable audit trail.

Ting! Next, please.

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Paris Hilton

Racial connotations

I live in a country where discussing race is a great more free than it is in the USA and its 51st state so forgive me if I'm not 100% politically correct or whatever.

The Mets gunned him down because he was not pale enough to pass as "white". That seems to have been their biggest visual clue in making the decision to open fire with dum-dum bullets and keep firing until he stops twitching.

To confuse a Brazilian with a member of an entirely different ethnic grouping implies you are not looking past the skin colour. By arguing that they could have mistaken him for a terrorist aren't they acknowledging an inherent racist comment: "all those foreign types look the same to me"?

I think anybody who doesn't look at beautiful as Paris Hilton should be shot in the streets. This would encourage Darwinian evolution of the species and give the Mets a fair excuse for their racist target selections.

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Never.....

The police fiddle evidence?!?!?! never......... they c0cked up and got the wrong guy so they are trying to cover it up! Of course they will have fiddled it. Stupid people!

Also editing in Power Piont? Hmmmmmmmmm.........

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Unhappy

Mike really is mad

"The difference is that they don't have a large amount of explosive strapped to their bodies and suicidal intent"

Rather like this man, who was wearing a t-shirt and calmly sitting reading the newspaper after having given no indication of any threat to anyone.

"Someone told me to shoot him" was no excuse at Nurnberg and it shouldn't be one here today.

The amount of effort the Met (hardly free of any past taint) has put into lying about what happened speaks volumes about how justified their execution of a passerby was.

"This was a very regretable event, but it will occur again as long as suicide bombers are around."

It will happen again as long as the sort of nutters who join the police firearms sections are allowed carte blanche to slaughter anyone they like with no fear of any consequences other than a rolled up trouser leg and a promotion.

"For whatever reason, we are at war with certain parties."

Yes. "For whatever reason". Because it's totally unclear how 50 years of US foreign policy, murders, and invasions could possibly have made our country a more dangerous place to live, isn't it?

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Andy Tut tut

Nice excuse for a Paris icon at the last minute there! didnt see it coming.

As for the terrorism comments, I have to agree terrorism barely exists in the UK. I'd like to see the statistics I bet more people die from 9 Volt batteries.

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Dead Vulture

Keep it simple

If the old bill hadn't been trying to mislead the court, wouldn't their lawyer just have shown the separate original pictures of the two men. What was achieved by putting the left half of one with the right half of the other? It couldn't be anything but misleading.

They could have done it like Private Eye, with the wrong caption under each picture. Are they related, I think we should be told.

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So that Met has

Described Menezes as "acting suspiciously" which was a lie

Claimed Menezes was "wearing a bulky jacket on hot day" which was a lie

Gone on TV and said he was a terrorist which was a lie

Now they are in court we have them coming up with more lies, cocaine in his urine but not blood (could the urone be from a PC by any chance?) and a neat photo making him look like a terrorist, we are past attempting to pervert the course or justice and firmly in conspiracy to murder aftert the fact here.

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Thumb Down

Just seen the pics on the BBC...

...and I don't see how anyone could mistake the two people, even using the Mets' version of the image. The only similarity appears to be the haircut, and that's about it - different ears, eyebrows, mouth, eyes. Not to mention the skin colour. When I first saw pictures of de Menenez, I remarked how he looked a bit like my brother. There'd be no chance of that comment about the other guy.

The Met really are clutching at straws, but I predict they'll get away with it.

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Jobs Horns

Is obstruction of justice any less illegal when done by police?

In Canada we have a crime called, "obstruction of justice". Is obstruction of justice any less illegal when done by police?

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Gives a whole new meaning to

Photofit.

@Mad Mike

"does it matter whether the photo was changed or not"

I don't know in what context the photograph was used but tampering with evidence springs to mind. If it doesn't matter in this case will it matter in any other?

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Illogical as well as mendacious

Quote (by Plod): ""There was no doubt in my mind that this man was a suicide bomber at this time and he was in possession of a suicide device that could present a serious danger to the public and to my men."

Hang on, hang on! Plod can't have his cake and eat it too. If indeed the surveillance target was MEANT to be Osman but the cops followed De Menezes instead, then by definition Osman was free to sneak away "...in possession of a suicide device that could present a serious danger.." and blow up the tube. Which he didn't. Which puts into question the Met's whole intelligence operation.

As to the photomanip, the Met lied through their teeth at the time and continued to lie during the succeeding days. So the fact that they fucked about with the images to justify their cock-up comes as no surprise.

As I've said before, I would accept shooting mass-murdering moslem madmen AS LONG AS we were sure we were targetting the right people. And, repeating myself again, I feel LESS, not more, secure knowing the tube is being patrolled by trigger-happy jumpy cops with flawed and slapdash intelligence backing.

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@bobbles31

Not just shoot to kill. Shoot to kill if the suspect is committing the crime of running while brown, carrying a backpack while brown or driving while brown.

The have clearly and openly stated immediately after the incident that they have studied a model of one specific well known country which practices a form of open Aparteid and has it enshrined in its constitution, cittisenship and residence laws. They were also very proud in claiming that they have followed expert advice from that country on how to "Shoot to kill to protect".

Frankly, the biggest indicator that the case is being hushed up in stages is the fact that nobody mentions any of these musings any more. All that is necessary is to ask why advice from a country with Aparteid legislation where being "brown" is a criminal offence has been transplanted to UK soil where in some areas 50% of the population is brown or brownish.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mad Mike

"This was a very regretable event, but it will occur again as long as suicide bombers are around."

Wrong. This was a very regrettable event, but it will occur again as long as suicide bombers are around (which is forever, especially if our foreign policy does not change) *AND* as long as idiotic policies like "shoot to kill" are defended and enforced.

I'm very surprised that nobody has mentioned Rigoberto Alpizar and Forest Gate yet. How many lives has shoot and kill saved in the last few years? How many were wasted? What is the failure rate of this policy? My calculator says 100%. (Without it being a deterrent for terrorists using release-triggers, think hand granade)

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Anonymous Coward

@ Keith T

"In Canada we have a crime called, "obstruction of justice". Is obstruction of justice any less illegal when done by police?"

Definitely not - in NZ an ex-senior Plod has just gone to gaol for (I think) 5 years for doing just this - he was helping some of his Plod mates get off rape and sexual assault charges!.

The only disagreement I have with his sentence is that, just as in some parts of the world killing or assaulting a Plod attracts a heavier sentence than doing the same thing to Joe Public, so should crimes committed while a member of Plod attract a heavier sentence than Joe P would collect - much heavier in the case of perverting the course of justice or similar crimes of dishonesty.

Mike.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Alert

One word

Wowser !

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No islamic terrorism in the UK?

"Am I the only one left in this country that notices that prior to Tony Blair taking "our boys" into Iraq there were NO Islamic terrorist incidents in this country? Who declared war on who exactly?"

Forget Lockerbie did we?

It isn't right to blame US foreign policy for islamic terrorism, regardless of what's happened here in the UK. Islamic terrorists started blowing things up on Carter's watch, this despite the fact that the US actually aided the creation of the islamic republic of iran by withdrawing support for the Shah at a critical moment. It went from amateurish nothings to outright nastiness within the space of a few years as Islamic groups ramped up their assaults against Israeli and US targets at a time when Israel was already making peace overtures to its neighbours, trying to actually give back the territory it took during the previous two was (where, incidentally, its islamic neighbours were the aggressors) and the US was bending over backwards to be nice to the arab world because oil prices were so high. This was when the PLO decided it would be quite fun to slaughter the entire Israeli team at the munich olympics and other islamic groups decided it would be highly entertaining to board cruise ships and throw disabled people overboard because they looked a bit jewish. Islamic terrorism hit its current stride during the US-led balkan war, which was *defending* ethnic albianian muslims against the serbs. Several islamic groups decided that this would be a great time to tart attacking the people that were helping to defend their brethren.

The only reason we weren't targeted over the majority of this period was because the Home Office turned a blind eye to terrorist organisations operating within the country and funding their counterparts overseas with money gathered here. The muslim rulers of Andalusia kept jewish bankers around for the same reason - why kill them when you can get money out of them? When we started to crack down on these organisations they turned on us as well. Of course that blind eye didn't stop islamic terrorists from attacking British interests overseas...

You've mischaracterised the entire conflict. This idea that Islam is always the victim and that the west is always the aggressor is... quain, but it doesn't match reality. The majority of Islam's history is one of conquest and violence. The peaceful periods in Islam's history are short, and characterised by an initial flush of learning and enlightenment as new technologies and knowledge were gleaned from conquered territories and spread about the ummah (which could take anything up to a century as empires grew), followed by a reversion to fundamentalist, dogmatic hatred of everything that wasn't of the book. Then another wave of expansion would begin and start the cycle again.

Our current foreign policy is based on the idea that Islam is, as it claims to be, a religion of peace. It isn't. It's a highly aggressive, tribal religion based on conquest and subjugation. It has a very strict honour code that is based, fundamentally, on lying. Once these two facts are acknowledged we can formulate a suitable policy for dealing with, and existing alongside, islam. As long as we deny these facts we will be flailing about, alternating between outright appeasement and pointless war.

And after all that, I agree with the point that the MET royally fucked up on this case. The MET's armed police section are a bunch of tossers who will casually shoot people first and then not bother asking questions later.

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@AJ Stiles

Re the Immutable Audit Trail,

You are correct in the sense that it is impossible to make an audit trail unamendable, but incorrect to the extent that we can now ensure that ANY amendment is detectable. This is just as good because it still has the effect of removing plausible deniability.

see http://www.authentic1.com/a1/concepts/audit.htm

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J
IT Angle

To be fair... and @Graham Dawson

"To confuse a Brazilian with a member of an entirely different ethnic grouping implies you are not looking past the skin colour."

Well, to be entirely fair here, there is nothing outlandish in confusing a Brazilian with a middle-Eastern (not that I think it was the case here). First of all, there is no "Brazilian ethnic grouping". Our (Brazilian) passport is allegedly one of the most valued in the world for counterfeiters exactly because of that. We can look like ANYTHING, almost, and have any family name. Get a Braz. passport and put a Japanese pic? Fine, we've got the biggest Japanese population outside of Japan. A middle Eastern pic? Even better, we've got more Lebanese descendants there than there are people in Lebanon! Not to mention lots of Turks, Arabs, Africans, Germans, whatever. And so far and so forth. We do have our own "common, usual mix" which makes up most of the population, which is Mediterranean people (mostly Portuguese, Spanish, Italian) plus black, and maybe a bit of indigenous, in some regions. And many of these CAN look pretty at home in parts of the Middle East.

"Our current foreign policy is based on the idea that Islam is, as it claims to be, a religion of peace. It isn't. It's a highly aggressive, tribal religion based on conquest and subjugation."

Oh, no! Not that old BS again! Don't start blaming their religion for what is obviously a socio-political problem. Islam is not any more violent than Christianity, if you are to be fair. Both "holy" books are equally horrible as guides of morality or whatever -- and both can have good, righteous parts too. Just ask any atheist, since we seem to be versed on these things much better then the "faithful". But just because a SMALL part of the Muslim world decides to use their book to justify their crimes, it does not mean they couldn't use the Bible or the Torah to do the same. They definitely could, given the right environment. I think any religion can be used to manipulate people in order to reach a socio-political objective, and it sure helps when people are delusional enough to think the big daddy in the sky wants them to do what the powerful guys tell them. But to say it's primarily the religion's fault is ignoring your own history.

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Islam a religion of peace

J, you claim that Islam is not any more violent than Christianity. And based on their core beliefs and the writing on their books, I would agree. But there is no doubt that MUSLIMS are one of the most violent people in the world. It might not be due to what's in their book but on what's in their religion's social structure, their implementation or something else. But I don't see many christians stoning other christians due to petty offenses, thought crimes or being in the company of other "undesirable" people.

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Anonymous Coward

@Herbys

"I don't see many christians stoning other christians due to petty offenses"

Not other christians, no.

I mean, what's wrong with bombing innocent Iraqi civilians with white phosphorus? And pushing 7 bullets in the skull of someone who doesn't look like a christian trying to catch a train, come on, we've all done that right? And if we suspect some infidel of doing something wrong but can't prove it, hey, we always have Camp Delta or control orders.

What's done in the name of "our own security" doesn't really count as violence, so yes, christians are superior, no doubt about that.

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Stop

Thinking

The level of thought in the replies to this article really amazes me. Perhaps if the majority 'intelligence is always perfect' and 'you can always take your man alive' people should enter the real world. Let's get down to some facts.

Firstly, intelligence is never perfect. As identification is a matter of perception, there will always be a significant number of errors. Trying to work out if the misidentification is 'reasonable' is pointless as different people perceive in different ways and therefore some people will misidentify someone when others wouldn't etc. Also, outside your own racial grouping, misidentification goes up significantly, as you are less used to that racial groupings features etc. That is known, proven fact.

Secondly, shoot to kill is the only policy that can be used against a suicide bomber. Shoot to kill gives you the ability to intercept and stop the bomber when you want to rather than when they want. This allows you to contain the danger and try to minimise casualties. Additionally, it reduces the risk to you as it minimises the risk of the suicide bomber detonating the bomb. The whole idea is they never know what happened. Contrary to much popular opinion, the ideal place to shoot a suicide bomber is not actually the head, but the neck. The idea is to sever the spinal cord which prevents any signal being sent to a muscle regardless of the condition of the brain. Again, contrary to popular belief, a bullet in the brain does not necessaily instantly stop brain function. Of course, the head is often the target due to the size of the target etc.

Someone mentioned release triggers being a deterent against this. Well, perhaps you would like to tell me the last time a suicide bomber used a release trigger? I personally, have never heard of it. The reason. Obvious really. A suicide bomber on the way to a target wants to appear as innocent as possible. Walking along with your hand in a pocket (or similar to hold the trigger) at all times and refused to remove it even when circumstances would suggest you should (and this is especially prevelent in London and other cities) is the best way of arousing suspicion. I won't say they haven't been used, but it is rare.

Finally. Contrary to a lot of respondents comments, I doubt if there is anyone in the Met police who went home that night and started boasting about 'wasting' someone etc.etc. as some postings suggest. I imagine most were extremely upset and shocked by the wrong person being shot. Taking a human life is a very traumatic experience to police. Strangely enough, they are not all Dirty Harrys. It would be better if people didn't assume everyone was like the films.

So, as my post said. The issue here is not that misidentification took place. This, whilst regretable, will always. The issue here isn't that the person was shot, as given the belief in the targets intended action, this was the only recourse. The issue here is the actions after the event when the police realised they had made an error. That is the real issue. The coverups and misinformation afterwards.

P.S.

Before anyone replies, perhaps they would also like to consider applying for a position with the Mets firearms teams. Perhaps they would like to consider approaching armed (guns, bombs, whatever) people and how they would feel. Perhaps they would like to consider placing themselves in the line of fire to protect the public. Perhaps they would like to take the split second decision to fire or not given the extremely fast moving situation and adrenelin etc. pumping round their bodies. And when they have gone to an incident with armed police and experienced what they do. Perhaps then, thay are qualified to judge...............

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Flame

Re: Islam a religion of piece

Speaking as a Christian I have to remind you that historically the Christians were not any better. Look at the atrocities committed both against Muslims and other Christians during the Crusades (Acre anyone?). I'd also say that burning other Christians at the stakes as heretics because they didn't practice exactly the same form of Christianity was pretty bad too.

I am reminded of a discussion on the radio a few years ago that made the point that Islam is about 14 - 15 centuries old now - roughly equivalent in age to Christianity in the late middles ages where burning heretics, witch hunting and crusades were still pretty popular.

Yes I know that this is full on flamebait but I couldn't resist.

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@Herbys

I've seen christians being shot by christians for being the wrong type of christian. Well, not the actual shooting, but the aftermath. Used to happen quite a lot round our way. And beating / blowing up as well, come to that...

Just, you know, figured I'd mention it.

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@Herbys II

...and, come to think of it, it wasn't _that_ long ago that christians were burning people for being the wrong kind of floaty. Presumably a typo somewhere changed "turn the other cheek" to "burn..."

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Silver badge

It's all about control

The problem with religions is simple. Almost all religions rely on some sort of book to define themselves. With Christians, it's the Bible, with Muslims, the Koran etc.etc. As with all written works, these can be interpreted in almost any way you choose, using selective quotes etc. Add that a reasonable amount of poor education in some places (e.g. Middle East, Africa etc.) and it becomes easy to persuade people the book says to do anything. Therefore, people who hold a position of authority in the religion are able to twist and distort the written word and persuade people to do things they would not normally do.

Muslims are not inherently violent. It is simply the way something is put to them and their blind faith (common to all religions) then means it does not get reviewed as well as it should and they go off to do it almost without thought. Whilst this problem is largely occuring with Muslims at the moment, a brief stroll through history shows almost every other faith has had its moment.

Take Christians for instance. The crusades!! A load of people persuaded by others to go and fight Muslims for what reason? Sal-al-din was actually a very good man and did not persecute or abuse Christians under his control at all. He was well known for allowing free access to Middle Eastern holy places to anyone who wanted to go there. If the crusaders captured a city, they slaughtered all the Muslims. If he captured a city, he left the Christians alone if they agreed not to attack him. Can't say fairer than that. And why did the Crusades take place? Because the Pope was skint. He needed to raise money and did so through the crusades. Check the history books and you will be enlightened.

So, yes we have a problem with some radical Muslims at the moment, but don't pretend for an instance it is problem unique to Islam. It is a problem associated with all religions and simply goes to show blind obedience is always a bad thing.

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@Graham Dawson

"Forget Lockerbie did we?"

No. Lockerbie was a Palistinian operation for which the US stiched up a couple of Islamonuts using the most transparently fake testimony in legal history.

"It isn't right to blame US foreign policy for islamic terrorism, regardless of what's happened here in the UK. Islamic terrorists started blowing things up on Carter's watch"

Not here they didn't.

US foreign policy for the last 100 years has revolved around one thing: control of the Middle East's oil reserves. That is the single solitary reason WTO, Kenya, and 7/7 and all the rest happened (and Lockerbie too). Militant Islam is entirely a product of US foreign policy.

America needs oil in huge quantities every day or it would collapse economically more or less overnight - that's a simple mathematical fact of life and every US administration has the simple task of deciding if they should allow it to happen or kill a few thousand ragheads. So far it has never been a dilema for them.

Or us, their so-called "allies". We're getting bombed because we're involved and we're involved because our wonderful ally has told us that if we're not involved it will go very badly for us. Our governments have not forgotten how our American pals screwed us over after we saved their lives in WWII, so there's little doubt that they'd do it again today.

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Anonymous Coward

Overseas Interests

"Of course that blind eye didn't stop islamic terrorists from attacking British interests overseas..."

ehh, british interests overseas? Why should a tiny little crappy island populated by wankers (I have this from a scottish friend) have any "interests overseas" - Ah... the divine right to lord over other people, I get it now.. sorry my bad.

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Pirate

@Mad Mike and Graham

"Why are they arguing about this. Unless the prosecution is seriously trying to prove the Met police knew it wasn't Osman, does it matter whether the photo was changed or not."

The Met is trying to prove that it had reasonable suspicion to think that De Menzies and Osman were the same person. The Defence (in this case the Met) dropped the image into court. The prosecution caught onto the fact that the image had been doctored.

In a UK courtroom this is really serious. Ordinary people like you and me would be facing perjury charges right now. Judges hate perjurers with a passion.

" The Met made an incorrect identification for whatever reason. That is fact. At that point, the outcome was somewhat fixed given what the believed target was supposed to be."

Which is again the point. The Met failed in its public duties which do not include, despite what some people believe, running assassination teams. Since Gibraltar even the SAS look askance at that kind of thing.

"Unfortunately, it is a given with suicide bombers that errors in identification cannot be corrected later. People are incorrectly identified all the time. The difference is that they don't have a large amount of explosive strapped to their bodies and suicidal intent."

No. The "difference is" that De Menzies didn't have explosives and the Met shot him. Note the and carefully. Quite a lot of people in London and across the UK don't have explosives. It is, in fact, more or less the default position. Therefore the important part is that the Met shot him.

"By defintion, you can't allow a suicide bomber to defend himself (by saying I'm not that man) because if you do, they will detonate the bomb."

Sigh. This has been Israeli policy for decades. Its comprehensively failed, even so, to be fair, the Israeli experience is that this might be the case. On the other hand the Israelis do bump off large numbers of completely innocent people including children in pursuit of this policy. I suspect that the Israeli experience is not one we want to start copying, mainly as we really cannot start running checkpoints and still operate a modern economy without massive support from a foreign power. Also people get upset when snipers put a round (hollowpoint or not) through the head of their nine year old.

Far more to the point its clear that the Met command did not actually think that De Menzies was a real bomber. They allowed him onto not one but two London buses, barely days after a London bus had been blown to smithereens. They did not react when he went to Brixton station (which was closed that day) .They did not active Operation Kratos (the anti-suicide bomber Operation). The only order given was to a gung-ho group of gun handling lads who were, in their own admission, "up for it" to stop De Menzies "at all costs". Hyperbolic orders given in panic to a group of ill-trained police gunmen are a recipe for disaster.

"This was a very regretable event, but it will occur again as long as suicide bombers are around."

Excellent. The victory for terrorism is that now I can pay the police to murder people like me. At least terrorists don't ask for very decent pensions. I used to think that the Argentine Junta were bad for running death squads against ill-defined "terrorists", now I realise that I pay for the Met to do the same to people like me.

"The worst part of the whole case for me was the misleading statements being issued by the Met long after they realised their mistake. As soon as they did, they should have admitted it and started trying to do the right thing. Instead, they mislead which made everything look bad and is if people were trying to hide things."

Its not "as if" they were trying to hide things. They actually were. The team involved apparently did not inform the Met Commissioner that they had killed "a Brazilian Tourist" for nearly an entire day. Whilst Special Branch and the observation coppers got caught faking their own logs during that time period.

Mind you the Met did send our strings of inaccurate statements to encourage the dimmer members of the public to think that De Menzies was a bad man, despite knowing that he was not. The most fatuous of which was that De Menzies had leapt the turnstiles at the station (he didn't - the Met issued a blurry photo of one of its own officers). Then there was the recent De Menzies "had taken cocaine at some point in the past". Then there was this latest fake photo. De Menzies was killed by the police, then was trashed in a desperate attempt to make his killing / murder / assassination somehow "OK".

"A large part of the responsibility for this should be attached to the commissioner who made or authorised the misleading statements."

Yep. He should resign. But he won't.

"For whatever reason, we are at war with certain parties. And with any war, civilian casualties are to be expected and cannot be avoided. This man was the first, but won't be the last."

We're at war with Brazil? Does anyone know? Civilian casualties - including deliberate assassination - of civilians of neutral parties are, shall we say, somewhat problematical under the Geneva Convention. And if we're at war are we actually going to treat the people that we've captured as prisoners of war? Don't think so. Saying we're at war, when we don't act as if we are at war, is just hypocritical bunk.

Graham:

"Forget Lockerbie did we?"

Key word is Islamic. Lockerbie was run, according to the British government and the Scottish courts, by Libyan intelligence. Libya is many things, but it is not an Islamic state.

Not to put too fine a point on it but you have no idea what you're talking about, on either Iran, Munich, Klinghoffer or Islamic history. I'll chop the rest of this piece apart when I get leisure.

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Black Helicopters

Does it make a difference

Afterall the police where looking at the back of his head when they shot him, not the front

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Anonymous Coward

@Mad Mike

Wow Mike, you are very erudite and eloquent. Please tell us more, educate us.

So what does your calculator say about shoot-to-kill success rate so far? (number of people saved from terrorist attacks vs number of people killed by mistake)

Release triggers are just an example, they don't need to be actioned with the hand and besides if police stops and searches someone with a massive backpack do you think they are going to ask him to show his hands and let him go?

You are probably right that release triggers have not been used much *before the public got to know that the shoot to kill policy was in force*.

And please let's stop this trite right-wing "split second decision" rhetoric. Shoot to kill is still in place and Sir Ian Blair had *1 year* to think about its effectiveness before we got Forest Gate - thankfully this time the guy was only injured.

I look like a terrorist - I am scared.

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MTT

@ Robert Long

How can you be so ignorant and so confident at the same time? Is it some special pill they give you in wingnut school?

I think a few hundred years of French and British colonialism have more to do with the current "militant islam" situation than 50 years of US foreign policy. Or are you forgetting the fact that the British were among those who colonized and divided the middle eastern nations into the warring sectarian regions that exist today?

How about that convenient little point of history where the British invaded one of the only remaining non-colonized middle eastern sovereign nations, Iran, and set off this whole cluster-F--k operation we have going today?

Your analysis of U.S. oil demands is juvenile enough rate about 3rd grade level, and would be laughable if I thought you were the only buffoon spouting that crap. ANY modernized society would collapse without a steady input of fossil fuels, if only because there isn't an alternative that is sustainable, renewable, and cost-effective enough to supplant the current system. This is not limited to oil: it includes natural gas and coal sources, and you better damn well believe that any government that doesn't fiercely protect their fossil fuel interests is directly harming it's citizenry.

Get your head out of the drum circle, little hippie, and take a look at the practical world with it's real problems. Leave the propaganda at the door, with your Birk's.

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Paris Hilton

@Mad Mike

Mad Mike

"Firstly, intelligence is never perfect. As identification is a matter of perception, there will always be a significant number of errors. Trying to work out if the misidentification is 'reasonable' is pointless as different people perceive in different ways and therefore some people will misidentify someone when others wouldn't etc. Also, outside your own racial grouping, misidentification goes up significantly, as you are less used to that racial groupings features etc. That is known, proven fact."

So you'd accept that operating a killing policy based on a fast glance identification would be a really, really cripplingly stupid thing to do. We're on the same page here.

"Secondly, shoot to kill is the only policy that can be used against a suicide bomber. Shoot to kill gives you the ability to intercept and stop the bomber when you want to rather than when they want. This allows you to contain the danger and try to minimise casualties. Additionally, it reduces the risk to you as it minimises the risk of the suicide bomber detonating the bomb."

Here we diverge. You've argued that its very difficult to stop a bomber, yet argue that in circumstances when a) We know who the bomber is b) Know where they are c) Know that they have a bomb and d) Have an armed policeman nearby then e) We can stop them. If we know a-c then stopping them before the bomb is moving around is the smartest course, otherwise its pure movie histrionics.

"Someone mentioned release triggers being a deterent against this. Well, perhaps you would like to tell me the last time a suicide bomber used a release trigger? I personally, have never heard of it."

Shrug. I have. The Israelis operate on the basis of this being a standard. Al Qaeda in Iraq also, supposedly, use this. We know that they're used as a backup in Al Qaeda operations for example the Kenya (vehicle) bomb in 1998 certainly used this method (we know that the primary igniter failed, but the release trigger didn't - this allowed one of the bombers to escape, he was later arrested by the Kenyan police. I note this because the British police, in very similar circumstances, were unable to even consider an arrest. We may judge the competence of the Kenyan police and the Met appropriately).

"Finally. Contrary to a lot of respondents comments, I doubt if there is anyone in the Met police who went home that night and started boasting about 'wasting' someone etc.etc. as some postings suggest. I imagine most were extremely upset and shocked by the wrong person being shot."

Imagine away. I, on the other hand, know that the chief constable was personally humiliated on 7/7 as when the bombs went off he was just back from a Today programme interview when he's said that the Met were the Gold Standard of counter-terrorism. I also know that when De Menzies was shot he was told that De Menzies was the right man, because the court has been told so. I'm sure that he was neither shocked nor upset that night. The next day it might have been very different.

"Taking a human life is a very traumatic experience to police. Strangely enough, they are not all Dirty Harrys. It would be better if people didn't assume everyone was like the films.""

So, just to check, your solution to the world not being like Dirty Harry (based on a real police officer named Dave Toshi by the way) is to rely on the movie solution of the last minute rescue. I rather prefer the knock on the door in the middle of the night method, its a lot less cool but does actually get the job done. Its when you combine it with overenthusiastic police that you get Forest Gate.

"So, as my post said. The issue here is not that misidentification took place. This, whilst regretable, will always."

Hm. So lets get this straight. You'll accept that misidentification will always happen and that its acceptable for people to be bumped off by the police because in some vague indefinable way the police might one day be right. This does mean that we are now paying a bunch of people to randomly kill us in order to keep us safer.

" The issue here isn't that the person was shot, as given the belief in the targets intended action, this was the only recourse."

For De Menzies its very much the issue that he was shot. For the rest of us the police's beliefs (not information in note - "beliefs" a fascinating mixture of religious fervour here) are quite concerning. Far more to the point you're simply not dealing with the issue that Kratos was never initiated, which means that all the burble about the police believing they were dealing with an active suicide bomber is simply tosh. No Kratos means no suicide bomber. Now the SO19 guys might have assumed that they were dealing with whatever they wanted to, including Godzilla and the Sailor Moon team. But assuming something doesn't make it so.

" The issue here is the actions after the event when the police realised they had made an error. That is the real issue. The coverups and misinformation afterwards."

Fairly major issue here too. It means that the police went from cockup to conspiracy.

"Before anyone replies, perhaps they would also like to consider applying for a position with the Mets firearms teams. Perhaps they would like to consider approaching armed (guns, bombs, whatever) people and how they would feel."

Blah blah blah. Heard all this crap over Iraq particularly when people were recruiting for the dreadful, dismal CPA. In reality the policy that the police created was immature and destined to fail and a child could see that this was the case.

"Perhaps they would like to consider placing themselves in the line of fire to protect the public. Perhaps they would like to take the split second decision to fire or not given the extremely fast moving situation and adrenelin etc. pumping round their bodies. And when they have gone to an incident with armed police and experienced what they do. Perhaps then, thay are qualified to judge..............."

Police? Safe as houses. 36 have died in the last 20 years. I'm pretty sure that more chartered accountants have died at their desks in the last 20 years. So, just to check, why haven't you joined the Army? They see a lot more suicide bomber action than the police do and their casualty rate is a lot higher.

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@Graham Dawson

Right, sorry about the delay.

"It isn't right to blame US foreign policy for islamic terrorism, regardless of what's happened here in the UK. Islamic terrorists started blowing things up on Carter's watch, this despite the fact that the US actually aided the creation of the islamic republic of iran by withdrawing support for the Shah at a critical moment."

Sigh. No they didn't. You're confusing US withdrawal of support for Batista in 1958 after he used US tanks to crush a Naval rebellion with Iran. Or you're confusing David Owen's refusal to sell Iran British riot kit to put down the riots (so the Iranians used machineguns instead). US policy in Iran remained, to the end, supportive of the Shah as Iran was "an Island of Stability in the Middle East". As late as August 1978 the CIA were confidently saying that the Shah would go on another decade or more.

" It went from amateurish nothings to outright nastiness within the space of a few years as Islamic groups ramped up their assaults against Israeli and US targets at a time when Israel was already making peace overtures to its neighbours,"

Overthrowing a US puppet state is an amateurish nothing? Wow. Way to set that bar really high. What do they have to do to be professional?

Look, the sad reality is that Iran doesn't give much of a monkey's about Israel. Israel was selling Iran weapons, particularly Hawk and TOW missiles. Iran did care about the little invasion that the US and Iraq organised for them, and the longest land war in the 20th Century that followed. You may have heard rumours of it between 1980 and 88.

"trying to actually give back the territory it took during the previous two was (where, incidentally, its islamic neighbours were the aggressors)"

Other than the Israeli surprise attack in 1967 you mean.

"and the US was bending over backwards to be nice to the arab world because oil prices were so high. This was when the PLO decided it would be quite fun to slaughter the entire Israeli team at the munich olympics "

Ok. Stop the burble here. The PLO aren't Islamic, they're theoretically Marxists. Second I think Speilberg shouldn't have made his damn film. Third the entire point of the Munich operation was a kidnapping to get prisoners released from Israel. Fourth the kidnappers never intended to kill anyone, the dead were either incredibly stupid in not doing what the man with gun tells them to do, or were killed during a 2 hour firefight in a dreadfully stupidly planned and amateurish hostage rescue attempt (so bad in fact that the 4 German police chosen as the lead assault force deserted their posts rather than take part).

"and other islamic groups decided it would be highly entertaining to board cruise ships and throw disabled people overboard because they looked a bit jewish."

Now its Klinghoffer the opera. OK Klinghoffer was Jewish. Second he was in a wheelchair. Third he was American. Fourth Israel had just invaded. Lebanon with US support. Items 1-3 are quite enough to get someone killed. Throw in point 4 and its very bad. Point 5... An Israeli tank had recently chased down and crushed a Palestinian in a wheelchair, something of a cause celebre in the Middle East. So they've got a Jewish guy in a wheelchair who is also American. Do we need to draw a picture?

But, and its a big but... the people that you are pointing are aren't an Islamic group, they're Arab Nationalists.

"Islamic terrorism hit its current stride during the US-led balkan war, which was *defending* ethnic albianian muslims against the serbs. Several islamic groups decided that this would be a great time to tart attacking the people that were helping to defend their brethren."

Errrm. No. Islamic terrorism hit its current stride in Israel and Lebanon. Saying that its anything to do with the Balkans is purely egotistical.

"The only reason we weren't targeted over the majority of this period was because the Home Office turned a blind eye to terrorist organisations operating within the country and funding their counterparts overseas with money gathered here."

Good for the home office, and something to be encouraged. More to the point the foreign office worked with local governments to try and deal with the issues that caused Islamic resistance, or at least protect people speaking out against some pretty nasty regimes.

" The muslim rulers of Andalusia kept jewish bankers around for the same reason - why kill them when you can get money out of them?"

Errrm. Are you really sure that you want to mention that when the Christians reconquered Spain they immediately threw the Jews out in 1458 (?), many of who chose to go an live in the Arabic world, particularly Istanbul rather than deal with the Spanish Inquisition. Because you know, by mentioning this it completely blows your entire point about the general nastiness of Islam out of the water.

" When we started to crack down on these organisations they turned on us as well. Of course that blind eye didn't stop islamic terrorists from attacking British interests overseas..."

Of course we were rather bombing Muslims in their home countries at the time. You know, its hard to argue with the author of Imperial Hubris when he says that most Westerners don't understand a damn thing other than money.

"You've mischaracterised the entire conflict."

As opposed to misunderstanding it and not knowing what you are talking about.

" This idea that Islam is always the victim and that the west is always the aggressor is... quain, but it doesn't match reality. "

Bin Laden says otherwise. Quite a lot of people believe him. Either they are all wrong or we are. I'd go with the idea that what Bin Laden is saying resonates in the Middle East as it does seem that he has an awful lot of people willing to die for what he thinks.

"The majority of Islam's history is one of conquest and violence."

Actually its really not, when compared to the history of Western Europe. One of the major periods of expansion in Islam is when the Monophysites in Syria and Egypt converted en masse to Islam which was far closer to their belief structure than Orthodoxy.

"The peaceful periods in Islam's history are short, and characterised by an initial flush of learning and enlightenment as new technologies and knowledge were gleaned from conquered territories and spread about the ummah (which could take anything up to a century as empires grew), followed by a reversion to fundamentalist, dogmatic hatred of everything that wasn't of the book."

Simply gibberish. Communication wasn't that slow in the period, learning in the Islamic world was venerated and competitive, and the idea that the Arabs were conquering "more advanced" peoples is simply laughable. At the time you're talking about Western Europe was in the middle of the Dark Ages and the Byzantines were no more advanced than the Persians.

"Our current foreign policy is based on the idea that Islam is, as it claims to be, a religion of peace. It isn't."

I think its terribly sensible to operate on the basis that they want peace because, you see, there are a hell of a lot of them and they appear to be winning.

"It's a highly aggressive, tribal religion based on conquest and subjugation. "

Snigger. Just to check... we didn't invade Iraq, right? They obviously invaded us. Our troops were just on a training mission and made a wrong turn at Albuquerque (in best Bugs Bunny style) and turned up in Basra? Lebanon, in 58 and 82, just an accident yer honour.

"It has a very strict honour code that is based, fundamentally, on lying."

Really Dr Evil? No. No it doesn't. You've no evidence for this.

"Once these two facts are acknowledged we can formulate a suitable policy for dealing with, and existing alongside, islam. As long as we deny these facts we will be flailing about, alternating between outright appeasement and pointless war."

We haven't tried appeasement. Appeasement would mean being a bit harsh on the Israelis and asking them to give up their preferential status. Look Bin Laden wants 6, fairly simple, things:

1) Ending all US aid to Israel. Without US support Israel will have to collapse. This effectively means the elimination of the Jewish state and in its place creation of a unified state. (That this state, because of the number of the Palestinians, will be Islamic is obvious).

2) Withdrawal of Western military units from the Arabic peninsula.

3) Ending US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq

4) End of US support for anti-Muslim operations in China, Russia and India.

5) Restoration of Muslim control over Muslim oil, paid for at full market value

6) Replacement of current pro-Western dictatorships by Islamic regimes. This can be done by democracy, as the experience in Iraq has shown.

So 6 fairly easy points that are well within the ability of the West to do, should we choose a policy of appeasement. Its just that we won't. On the other hand its quite hard to motivate people to die in Basra so that we can keep military forces in Oman.

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Black Helicopters

@Anonymous Coward

'So what does your calculator say about shoot-to-kill success rate so far? (number of people saved from terrorist attacks vs number of people killed by mistake)'

Well, bearing in mind the number of people a suicide bomber can kill in one go, quite good actually. What do you think was going on in NI for years? The SAS etc. taking out terrorists before they blew things up, or on the way, or as it happened? The Israelis have stopped a good number as well. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but asking politely doesn't work. So, if you have any other ideas and am willing to try it personally next time, please feel free to volunteer..........................deafening silence I'm sure. More than happy to criticise those who are willing to act and take risks on your behalf, but somewhat slow in coming forwards when asked to do it yourself.

'You are probably right that release triggers have not been used much *before the public got to know that the shoot to kill policy was in force*.'

Meaning. Sorry, I was talking rubbish and you got me.

'And please let's stop this trite right-wing "split second decision" rhetoric. Shoot to kill is still in place and Sir Ian Blair had *1 year* to think about its effectiveness before we got Forest Gate - thankfully this time the guy was only injured.'

It's a fact. When you have a split second to make the decision, mistakes will be made. And the fact is, that's what police have when something like this occurs. It's not trite, it's fact. There are various courses you can go on and experience things like this. Try it. Then, you'll find out how good your split second decisions are.

'I look like a terrorist - I am scared.'

What's this supposed to mean? What does a terrorist look like? If you know, I'm sure the Met would appreciate your help. I suppose you mean you look like an Arab? Well, if you're worried in this country, go to the Middle East. The chances of being killed there are far higher. In this county, you stand far more chance of being killed in a road accident or even having a heart attack.

The other alternative of course, is for everyone, including Arab communities, to help the police. This includes Mosques etc.etc. The chances of being accidently killed go up enourmously when the police and security services know these people are around but get no help in identifying them. For every one of the bombers on 7/7, people after the event said they knew they were radical etc.etc. Yet, what did they do? WIthout good quality intelligence, the Met will make more and more mistakes. So, your own safety is partly in your own hands and that of the Arab/Muslim community.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mad Mike

>taking out terrorists before they blew things up

That is the whole point, you can never take out a terrorist, you can take out a *suspected* terrorist. At best you got summary execution, at worst you got de Menezes, Alpizar, etc. Can you please name and reference one incident where shoot-to-kill (as currently implemented by the Met) proved to be a necessary and useful measure?

>if you have any other ideas

Plenty. First, accept that you cannot stop somebody who is determined to blow himself up from doing it. Second, realise that a better idea is to stop that somebody *from being determined* to blow himself up. How? Here's a few hints: by not invading Iraq, by not detaining people indefinitely without charge, by not imposing control orders on suspects, by not treating the whole population (which let's not forget you are supposed to be serving) like terrorist suspects, and in general by having home and foreign policies that don't make the Tories look like communists.

>>You are probably right that release triggers have not been used much *before the public got to know that the shoot to kill policy was in force*.

>Meaning. Sorry, I was talking rubbish and you got me.

Almost, but keep trying. Meaning, shoot-to-kill was stupidly dangerous *before* it was made public, but now it's stupidly dangerous *and* utterly useless. Should I draw a Venn diagram?

>>Shoot to kill is still in place and Sir Ian Blair had *1 year* to think about its effectiveness before we got Forest Gate

>When you have a split second to make the decision, mistakes will be made.

Wrong again. When you have a split second to make the decision *and* idiotic rules of engagement are in place, horrendous, preventable mistakes will be made. Deciding the rules of engagement is *not* a split second decision. Get it now?

>What does a terrorist look like? If you know, I'm sure the Met would appreciate your help.

That is precisely my point. It could be you next time.

(You still think I look like "an Arab", do you?)

>The other alternative of course, is for everyone, including Arab communities, to help the police.

They are asking so politely (by criminalising their whole community) that I'm sure that will happen very soon.

And finally

>More than happy to criticise those who are willing to act and take risks on your behalf

I'm a retired police officer. Can we stop this now please?

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Boffin

Menezies and the Police

No ones mentioned that Mr Menezies was reported as working illegally here as an electrician. If so, he might have been concerned that he might be being watched by the Home Office (or whichever state dept that deals with aliens) and thus would have been likely to behave suspiciously to trained police. If he was, on that fateful day, somewhat aware that he was being watched and possibly being followed, he would have probably added, by his body movements, to the perception by the police that this man was a danger and could indeed be the wanted man Osman.

As for the facts of the unfortunate shooting of Mr Menezies, it doesn't make any sense, except as an attempt to stop a bomb going off; unless the police concerned panicked. I don't know how much space is required under clothing to conceal a deadly bomb so the absence of a backback doesn't negate the possibility that Menezies could have been a bomber.

Thinking by Mad Mike certainly is a very reasonable piece of thinking. It seems that many people have a very shallow perception of the nature of the individuals who work in the police force.

Photofit? Well why not vary the size of an image to match another, no problem there. Alter the proportion? No, except that the photos of both men may not be recent. They also, may not have been full frontal images and may have been altered to allow for this? The proportions of a person's face may change if they have lost or put on weight for example. Camera lens? can distort features, ideally to ensure that a person's nose isn't made to appear larger than normal a portrait type lens should be used; is there a variable here that also justifies image manipulation? Alternatively, a deliberate fit could they really be that stupid? Another factor is that it is rare, even, that both sides of a person's own face are identical!

Appearance? Some Welshmen look Middle Eastern in appearance! I don't see that much difference between nationalities: hair/eye colour, nose shape, skin colour? I read somewhere that if we take 12 people one of them will look somewhat similar to ourselves. As we get older and grayer and we get some sun we can become even more similar. I was looking at a Japanese chap on television and thought to myself he looks a bit like me.

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Anonymous Coward

@Geoff

"No ones mentioned that Mr Menezies was reported as working illegally"

You are right, no one has, strange that. Including the Met's defence. Maybe they realized that the judge is not your average Daily Mail reader and that excuse is so pathetically far fetched that it's better to finally shut up about that. Same for the alleged heavy jacket (too heavy for the season - except apparently Plod Ivor was dressed "identically"), same for the alleged tube barrier vaulting, for the alleged tool belt and so on. (This ritual smearing stage by the way also took place at Forest Gate, where they guy was innocent, but "HEY EVERYBODY WE FOUND SOME PORN ON HIS PC!!! NOT SAYING ANYTHING!" So what you imbecile?)

The Home Office was very quick to point out that the stamp on his passport was different from the one in use at that time.

First, one would hope that the Home Office would keep a better record of the visas they issue and therefore be in a position to categorically confirm or deny that he was staying illegally - I believe we still don't know for sure, correct me if I'm wrong.

Secondly, why did the Home Office make that information public? Can anyone answer that? Because it's still a mystery to me. Even the IPCC told them off for doing that.

Third, as I said, this detail is irrelevant to this case.

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Paris Hilton

Mad Mike, This is getting tiresome

Mad Mike,

This is getting terribly, terribly silly. You're simply not dealing with 3 basic, important, facts:

1) De Menzies was not a suicide bomber.

2) The police did not think he was a suicide bomber.

3) Kratos was not called. SO19 were, according to Commander Dick (great name), ordered to arrest the suspect and search him. According to that position SO19 went straight off the rails.

Point 3 is the critical one. It means that everything you say is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what should be done if you're meeting a suicide bomber, it matters what should be done if you're shooting someone innocent in the head.

"Well, bearing in mind the number of people a suicide bomber can kill in one go, quite good actually."

Yes, but we don't pay the suicide bombers. Nor do we set their priorities. We understand that the government can't always get it right. On the other hand the government or police created a policy where it was OK to bump off people. That's a lot more serious.

"What do you think was going on in NI for years? The SAS etc. taking out terrorists before they blew things up, or on the way, or as it happened?"

With the exception of a few ambushes the SAS rarely did much good in Northern Ireland, it was mainly a police and intelligence issue. Far more to the point the British soldiers in Northern Ireland operated under a far tighter set of rules than the SO19 people did. Without an order to fire or clear personal danger (of which there was neither in the De Menzies case) the soldier could expect to face murder charges and, if convicted, face a life sentence. The SO19 plod got away scot-free.

In fact after the one time that the SAS did an ambush in Gibraltar MI5 and MI6 never used them again for intelligence operations. As of 2003 the SAS are considered to be too unreliable for complicated intelligence operations (the SAS habit of all wearing jeans, trainers and black leather jackets and walking in lock-step makes them less than useful for appearing inconspicuous). Equally the SAS get a 24 hour period to make up their statements, usually some variant of the "suspect was making a twisting gesture. I thought he was reaching for a gun". You'd be amazed how many IRA people made twisting gestures just before being shot. Cynics might think it was a standard lawyer approved wording.

On the other hand SO19 make the SAS look like Ninja warriors, as SO19 now appear to be either unable or unwilling to understand the orders that they're being given.

"The Israelis have stopped a good number as well. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but asking politely doesn't work."

Sigh. Israel remains the "how not to do it" gold-standard. You may be aware that they've had an insurgency running for nearly 3 decades now. They're now reduced to building a wall to protect themselves from the majority of the people of the West Bank. A few years back there was a minor scandal in Israel when it turned out that their border checkpoints were staffed by inmates from a local mental asylum. Understandably quite a number of completely innocent Palestinians have died because of this.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7363.htm

The video above shows a 13 year old girl (misidentified as 10) being shot by mistake. She was on her way to school. Apparently her school bag turned out to contain school books. She was shot 12-17 times - twice in the head and then, apparently to clear the magazine, ten to fifteen times in the body. You'll be glad to hear that this misuse of ammunition caused a court martial for "illegal use of a weapon". The killing is, of course, quite all right. The captain involved was found not guilty in record time.

You'd doubtless call this a success, but I do not. I see this as the end result for the UK - a nightmarish future for our nation whilst the police run out of control assassination squads. We can live with suicide bombers, but assassination squads will destroy us as a nation.

"So, if you have any other ideas and am willing to try it personally next time, please feel free to volunteer..........................deafening silence I'm sure."

Volunteer for what? The police? With 5 applicants for every post do they actually need the extra people? Are you joining the army? The army are looking for recruits as less than 1 person applies per infantry slot.

"More than happy to criticise those who are willing to act and take risks on your behalf, but somewhat slow in coming forwards when asked to do it yourself."

First, the police never asked me if the policy that they created was sane, a moments thought would have revealed that it was not. More importantly they never went to Parliament and announced that this was the policy. So its rather hard to say that they're doing it on "our behalf".

I'm actually rather more worried about the police shooting me in the head, thanks. There are a lot more police officers than suicide bombers.

"Meaning. Sorry, I was talking rubbish and you got me."

I think that you're talking gibberish and everyone other than you knows it.

"It's a fact. When you have a split second to make the decision, mistakes will be made."

So don't get in that position. The police didn't have to be in that position. They chose the option that put them there.

"And the fact is, that's what police have when something like this occurs. It's not trite, it's fact. There are various courses you can go on and experience things like this. Try it. Then, you'll find out how good your split second decisions are."

Errrm. No the police did not have to shoot De Menzies. In fact it now appears that the order that was given to do a controlled halt of De Menzies and search him. Of course if that is true then everything you've babbled is meaningless. Still we won't let nasty reality get in the way.

"What's this supposed to mean? What does a terrorist look like? If you know, I'm sure the Met would appreciate your help."

That's rather his point. Everyone looks like a terrorist. I suppose that these complicated concepts are rather leaping past you. To repeat De Menzies wasn't a suicide bomber, the police command did not think he was, they say that they wanted a controlled halt not an execution.

"I suppose you mean you look like an Arab?"

I'm white and European so I look like a Bosnian Muslim. Or a convert, like Richard Reed. Everyone looks like a terrorist.

"Well, if you're worried in this country, go to the Middle East. The chances of being killed there are far higher."

What? By the Met? If you think that Dubai is rougher than London for Ex-pats you really are Mad, Mike.

"The other alternative of course, is for everyone, including Arab communities, to help the police. This includes Mosques etc.etc."

Do you have any evidence that mosques in the UK weren't helping the police?

"The chances of being accidently killed go up enourmously when the police and security services know these people are around but get no help in identifying them."

Sigh. In this case they knew who the bomber was, where he lived, what he looked like, what his bank account number was, who his friends were, and the fact that his sister had a flat in Stretham. Its rather hard to see what extra information anyone could provide that would be useful at that stage. Even with all that it still didn't stop the police from gunning down the wrong man completely.

"For every one of the bombers on 7/7, people after the event said they knew they were radical etc.etc. Yet, what did they do?"

Errm. No they didn't. The bombers on 7/7 were on the outer fringe of radical Islam. Its why the thing came as such a complete surprise. They're not called "cleanskins" for nothing. We didn't know or care a thing about them until 7/7.

" WIthout good quality intelligence, the Met will make more and more mistakes. So, your own safety is partly in your own hands and that of the Arab/Muslim community."

So, lets get this straight, if we don't give the police more information about random people being unhappy over British foreign policy, more completely innocent people will be gunned down by the police? I'm having trouble with this logic. Maybe if we didn't do the bit where the police get trigger happy. Alternatively how about we don't have police that created policies that are determined to re-enact the last part of "True Lies"?

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