Abdul Kahar

Abdul KaharAn innocent young man was shot by police in terror raid

compiled from various sources
published: 13 June 2006

News updates listed at the foot of this item

Abdul Kahar, a 23-year-old man, was shot by police during a house raid in Forest Gate, east London involving more than 200 officers carried out early on Friday 2nd June 2006 under the Terrorism Act. Detectives believed that a plot was being hatched to use a chemical device in the United Kingdom. He was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism, before being taken to hospital after the search where he was treated for gunshot wounds to his shoulder.

Although his injuries were not deemed life-threatening, he could so easily have been fatally shot during the bungled police terror operation.

Abduls’ brother, 20-year-old Abul Koyair, was also arrested and held at the top-security Paddington Green Police Station in central London . Several other people in the house at the time of the raid were moved to other premises and were not detained.

A single shot was fired, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which will investigate. The IPCC, in a statement, said it would use its own investigators to “examine the circumstances surrounding the discharge of a police firearm.”

Deborah Glass, IPCC commissioner, said, “The incident was referred to the IPCC immediately and investigators were deployed to the scene.” An examination of the officers’ firearms confirms that a single shot was discharged in circumstances that are currently under investigation.”

When they first spoke publicly on 13th June, Abdul Kahar, spoke of the raid on his family home. He said he had been woken by the screams “like I had never heard before.” Assuming it was a robbery he ran downstairs with his brother directly behind him.

He described how he saw an orange spark, and said. “I fell against the wall. I slipped down.” It is alleged that he was shot from a distance of two to three feet by a man standing at the bottom of the stairs, and who at that point had not identified himself as a police officer. The bullet passed through the right-hand upper part of his chest and exited through his shoulder.

He goes on to say, “He [the policeman] looked at me straight away and shot. We had eye contact and he shot me straight away.” Moments before the shot the man at the bottom of the stairs simply shouted out “Just shut the fuck up, stay there, stay there’.”

Mr Kahar said he was dragged down the stairs, hitting his head several times on the way down, and out of his home before being unceremoniously dropped on to the pavement. He was then given a tissue to put against his wound. It was only at this point, when he caught site of police vans, that he was aware the man was a police firearms officer.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Met’s anti-terror branch, said the operation was planned in response to “specific intelligence.” He went on to say “Because of the very specific nature of the intelligence we planned an operation that was designed to mitigate any threat to the public either from firearms or from hazardous substances.”

A 14-year-old witness to the operation said police broke in through a window, and then opened the front door. He said that Abdul was carried from the house with a shoulder injury. Another witness said he had seen a man wearing a bloodstained T-shirt being carried out of the house after the raid.

Abduls’ brother was initially questioned by police amid mounting confusion over who fired the shot. Solicitors for both men said reports the younger brother was responsible for the shooting were untrue. Kate Roxburgh, representing Mr Kahar, said claims that her client had been shot by his brother were “absolute nonsense”. She went on to say “His brother was apparently standing a couple of stairs behind him. “He was shot through the chest from the front. It is absolute nonsense.”

Both men denied any involvement in terrorism and had disputed reports that Mr Koyair was responsible for the shooting of his brother from the very onset, and in response to charges of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, they maintained that such actions were contrary to all their beliefs.

On 13th June the Metropolitan police gave in to demands for an apology from the family. The response was however relatively muted.

The assistant commissioner, Andy Hayman, issued the apology saying, “I apologise for the hurt that we have caused in tackling the terrorist threat in the UK,” He also said. “The police service is trying its utmost to work closely with all the communities and in particular the Muslim community.” But he defended the decision to deploy armed officers, citing the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the killing of a police officer during an anti-terror raid in Manchester in 2003.

According to reports in the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph the brothers could claim up to £500,000 in compensation for Mr Kahar’s injuries and for libel damages. Mark Stephens, a human rights and media lawyer at Finers, Stephens and Innocent, said Mr Kahar could receive £30,000 compensation for being shot.

Just days after the raid and shooting, a group of Muslims and supporters protested outside Scotland Yard against the tactics used by police in the raid. About 300 people gathered for the protest – against “heavy-handed police tactics” – outside the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police in central London. The Muslim Association of Britain and the Islamic Human Rights Commission were among Muslim groups represented.

The brother’s sister Humeya Kalam, issued a statement on their behalf which was read aloud to demonstrators. she said, “My brothers would like to have come today, to show unity, however they are unable to do so because they are still recovering from their injuries – both physically as well as mentally.” She said that the family was “very relieved to have them back after the hell we went through last week.”

Ms Kalam also told demonstrators she hoped their protest would “highlight the fact no other innocent family should be forced to go through the same nightmare.”


Follow-up News:

Raid brother tells of death fears
7 June 2006

Forest Gate raid police forced to act, Blair insists
7 June 2006

Angry families threaten legal action against police over anti-terror raid
4 June 2006

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