Socialist Worker

Forest Gate families' angry statement on 'terror raid' investigation

Issue No. 2038

Families caught up in last summer's Forest Gate anti-terror raid in east London have criticised the findings of an inquiry into the police operation.

The inquiry concluded that Scotland Yard had no option but to act on intelligence that a remote-controlled chemical bomb was hidden in one of the raided houses.

Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23 – who was shot in the shoulder when armed police raided his home – said the report, by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was a 'whitewash'.

Both he and his brother, 20-year-old Abul Koyair, were released without charge a week after the June 2006 raid when the intelligence was found to be unsubstantiated.

Below is the full text of a statement from the families, issued by their lawyers in the wake of the IPCC report.

'It is completely clear that a crime of the utmost seriousness was committed on or before June 2 2006.

An unnamed informant or informants provided entirely false information to the police, described in the IPCC report as intelligence, which led to the catastrophic events of June 2.

The lives of several law-abiding individuals were devastated, and the life of one of them seriously endangered, as a direct result of that information.

On behalf of all of those affected by the raid, four fundamental concerns are expressed as a result of reading the IPCC report:

  • There is nothing in the IPCC report that indicates that they have investigated the steps the police took to assess the quality of the intelligence that they received. This was the first and primary concern of the complainants.
  • The complainants are shocked to find that an entire inquiry has been pursued, and a report published, which fails to mention any investigation of the crime of false testimony so clearly committed.

    There is no suggestion that there has even been any consideration that it be treated as such. The deliberate provision of false information constitutes a clear attempt to pervert the course of justice, treated by police normally as a crime of the utmost seriousness.

    The occupants of 46 and 48 Lansdown Road, the victims of that crime, have been denied the most elementary application of the criminal justice system, ie an investigation of that crime, thereafter a prosecution and, if convicted, appropriate punishment, both as a sanction for the actions of the perpetrator and a deterrent for others tempted to commit a similar crime.

  • The IPCC, in choosing to comment on speculative reporting and one sided press conferences, fails to consider the implications of the early media reports portraying both brothers as terrorists and the house as a chemical weapons factory.

    There is no suggestion within the IPCC report of any investigation into the sources of these reports. If emanating from official sources, those providing the reports must, if unauthorised, have breached the Official Secrets Act.

    'If authorised, there would appear to have been an attempt to pervert the course of justice, this time from official sources, and a wilful breach of the supposed safeguards of the Contempt of Court Act. These, too, are serious offences.

  • Lastly, in reporting, the IPCC has failed again and again to see the wood for the trees.

    Whilst the individuals concerned disagree with a number of the IPCC's findings, some of which are indeed inaccurate or misleading, their major complaint is that the enormity of this experience and its consequences, not simply for those directly affected, deserved a more far reaching, intelligent and appropriate response.

    They remain victims of unsolved criminal offences of which the report makes no mention whatsoever.'

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Sat 17 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2038
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