IN the early hours of Friday morning a police raiding party of up to 250 officers broke into a home in Lansdown Road, Forest Gate, East London after breaking a window, allegedly looking for a chemical weapon.
A policeman shot one of the residents, 23-year-old postman, Abdul Kahar, in the shoulder, and police took his brother, 20-year-old Tesco worker, Abul Koyair to Paddington Green police station.
Over 72 hours after the invasion of the household, and a massive police occupation of the neighbourhood, not a shred of evidence has been found to back up police allegations that there was some kind of bomb factory at the family home.
The police had said that the raid was ‘intelligence-led’. In the words of the head of the Metropolitan Police terror branch, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke: ‘The purpose of the investigation, after ensuring public safety, is to prove or disprove the intelligence that we have received.’
What kind of intelligence is it, that is so flimsy that the police do not have any proof to back up their suspicions, so that the raid is a gigantic, heavy handed and deadly ‘fishing expedition’ to establish whether the ‘intelligence’ is worthless or whether it has any basis?
What kind of insurance of public safety is there when an unarmed man is nearly killed, and another sustains head injuries?
The ‘intelligence’, if any, seems to have been ‘gossip’ of one kind or another, possibly coming from police informants who profit by passing on tittle tattle.
It surely should be, to set a small army of heavily armed police into a single street and a single home, with all of the fear and agitation that this creates, that there has to be some concrete evidence to back it up, not just speculation.
There was no concrete evidence in this case, as there was no concrete evidence in the case of the police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes.
And yet the police still went in with massive force. This is because they are being encouraged to do so by draconian government legislation undermining basic rights, and by all of the propaganda that they are fighting a ‘war on terror’ and a ‘war of civilisations’ etc.
The young workers in the Forest Gate area who said that Friday’s raid was an attempt to cow and intimidate the Muslim working class community of that area have made a correct point.
The state is seeking to intimidate the Muslim community and fill it with fear about what will happen to it at the hands of the state if members of the Muslim community step out of line. As one local resident said it is possible that you could disappear into a camp like Guantanamo Bay.
The British government has had a lot to do with Jordan and Egypt recently, signing mutually binding documents that if Britain returns Jordanians and Egyptians to their countries and vice versa they will not be subjected to torture.
However, the British government seems to be picking up some of the finer points about how these regimes function.
In fact, they control ‘potentially subversive’ sections of the population by keeping them in a state of fear.
The terror raid we saw in Forest Gate last Friday morning shows the British government is adopting the same policy.
In fact, British government policy has been, the more that it gets involved in aggressive wars and actions against Iraq, Afghanistan and now Iran, the more it needs to suspend basic rights at home to deal with ‘disaffected’ British citizens.
The police can hold the two brothers in custody without charge for 14 days. Just think what they would be able to get them to confess to, if Blair had had his way, and a 90-day period of police custody had been adopted.
The British government’s policy is a war on two fronts, in Iraq and the Gulf, and against the working class at home.
There is only one way to deal with this crisis. That is to bring down the Blair government, and to bring in a workers’ government that will smash the capitalist state and carry out socialist policies at home and abroad.