Officer cleared of wrongdoing in shooting terror suspect in London raid
The Associated PressLONDON – A police marksman who wounded a suspect during an anti-terror raid stumbled during the operation and accidentally fired his gun, the police complaints bureau ruled Thursday, exonerating the officer of any wrongdoing.The officer was one of 250 police who rushed the London row house on June 2 acting on intelligence that a chemical bomb was there.He entered the property with the safety catch of his submachine gun switched off, the report by Britain’s Independent Police Complaints Commission said.The officer confronted the suspect, Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, on a staircase.”He and the two figures came into contact and this caused him to lose his balance and come into contact with the wall,” the report said.Kahar, 23, who was shot in the shoulder, and his brother were detained, but released without charge after a week. No bomb was found.”There is no evidence to support the speculative reporting that the weapon was fired by one of the brothers, or that it was a deliberate act by the police officer,” the head of the inquiry Deborah Glass said in presenting the report.”In the circumstances, I conclude that the officer has committed no criminal or disciplinary offense,” she said.”In this case, an independent forensic scientist has concluded that the weapon was within 2 inches of Abdul Kahar when discharged and was not in a normal firing position,” the assistant police commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur, said.Within minutes of the report’s publication, police arrested Kahar on suspicion of possessing child pornography. He was freed Thursday night but was ordered to return for more police questioning at an undisclosed date.Kahar’s attorneys, Birnberg Pierce, said its client “strenuously denies” having anything to do with child porn.Kahar’s sister, Humeya Kalam, said she was “deeply disgusted” by the report’s exoneration of the police officer.Community leaders last month held protests, accusing police of being heavy-handed in their tactics and deliberately targeting Muslim families. Kahar told reporters he and his brother’s only crime had been to be “Asian with a full-length beard.”
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