June 13, 2006

British police “shot without warning”: victim

By Peter Griffiths

LONDON (Reuters) - A British man shot by police seeking a
possible chemical bomb in a London home, and later released
without charge, said on Tuesday the officer gave no warning
before pulling the trigger.

"We both had eye contact, he shot me straight away,"
Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, told a news conference. "I just saw
an orange spark and a big bang. I flew into the wall, slipped
down. There was blood coming down my chest. I knew I was shot."

The east London raid, which involved about 250 police, some
wearing chemical, biological and radiological protection suits,
was one of the biggest since last July's suicide bombings
killed 52 commuters in the capital London.

The apparent failure to find evidence of what one police
source called "some form of viable chemical device" and the
subsequent release of Kahar and his brother have raised
questions over the intelligence that led to the pre-dawn raid.

The high-profile operation has also increased pressure on
London police chief Ian Blair, already under fire over the
fatal shooting on a London train last July of a Brazilian
wrongly suspected of being a suicide bomber.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair backed the police chief
on Monday, saying he was doing a "fine job" and had his full

Police said they had "very specific intelligence" from a
tip-off and had no choice but to mount the June 2 raid.

There have been conflicting reports about how Kahar was
shot. Some newspapers said there had been a struggle. Police
have said a shot was fired and an investigation is under way.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman declined to comment on
the allegations made by the brothers at Tuesday's news

Kahar's brother Abul Koyair, 20, said they were woken by
the sound of smashing glass and believed their home in Forest
Gate was being burgled because police did not identify

"They tried to murder my brother," Koyair said. "They
dragged me away from my brother and they dragged me down the
stairs and they were hitting me."

The pair were released without charge last week after being
arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000. A family spokesman said
the brothers are Muslims of Bangladeshi origin.

Both denied any link to terrorism and said they had no idea
why police had raided their house.

London police have apologized for the disruption caused by
the raid but say they had no choice but to act.