Socialist Worker

Jean Charles de Menezes: Israel advised Met Police on suicide bombings

Published Tue 9 Oct 2007
Issue No. 2072

A senior police officer giving evidence in the trial of the Metropolitan Police over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, said that the Israeli security forces had given advice to the Met on handling suicide bombers.

The Metropolitan Police denies breaking health and safety laws in relation to the Brazilian’s death on 22 July 2005.

Two firearms officers shot the electrician seven times on a train at Stockwell tube station.

The prosecution allege the Metropolitan Police put the public at risk by allowing their suspect to travel from his home to the station before they intervened.

The Metropolitan Police say that officers did their best in extraordinary circumstances and that while the shooting was a mistake, it was not a crime.

Surveillance

Detective Inspector Andrew Whiddett of the Special Branch was the operations room officer who had responsibility for the surveillance teams who first identified Jean Charles de Menezes.

Jean Charles was seen leaving a block of flats linked to one of the failed bombers.

Giving evidence to the Old Bailey trial, Detective Inspector Whiddett said the Metropolitan Police had taken steps to prepare for a suicide bomb attack.

Those steps included consulting Israeli security forces that had the most experience of dealing with such attacks, he told the court.

The Israelis had met with police officers in the months leading up to the July 2005 suicide bombings on London.

In the briefings, said Detective Inspector Whiddett, Israeli security chiefs had demonstrated how suicide bombers had developed new ways of carrying a bomb that “may not be apparent”.

Both the 7 and 21 July attackers used bulky bombs in rucksacks, but Jean Charles was not carrying anything on the morning of his death.

In other evidence Detective Superintendent Jon Boutcher a senior anti-terrorist officer told the court that commanders twice changed their minds about what to do in the moments before Jean Charles was shot dead.

Clare Montgomery QC, prosecuting, asked if a crowded tube train was the best place to challenge Jean Charles.

The Detective Superintendent Boutcher replied, “It was the first available opportunity. It is not ideal, but in London there are very few places for an ideal intervention to occur.”

The trial continues.


Article information

News
Tue 9 Oct 2007, 18:07 BST
Issue No. 2072
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