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Homeland Security

SLUG: 2-326118 London/Bombings (L-2nd upd)







/// UPDATES CR 2-326113 ///

HEADLINE: Police Shoot Man Linked to London Bombings

INTRO: London police have shot and killed a man at a subway station, a day after four small explosions hit the transit network. The city's police chief says the incidents are related. VOA's Michael Drudge has more from London.

TEXT: Police say Friday's shooting occurred at the Stockwell subway station in South London, one stop away from where a subway train was hit by a small explosion Friday, one of four blasts on London's transport system.

A witness to Friday's shooting, Mark Whitby, told reporters the man raced onto his train moments before he was fatally shot by undercover police.

/// WHITBY ACT ///

"I saw an Asian guy, he looked Pakistani, he ran onto the train. He was hotly pursued by, I just presume them to be three plainclothes police officers. One of them was wielding a black handgun. He half-tripped as he ran into the carriage. They pushed him to the floor, and basically unloaded five shots into him."

/// END ACT ///

Other witnesses say the dead man wore an unseasonably heavy coat for London's summer weather, and some media reports say police suspected he was a suicide bomber.

London Police Commissioner Ian Blair gave few details, but said the shooting is part of the city's anti-terrorist campaign.

/// BLAIR ACT ///

"This shooting is directly linked to the ongoing and expanding anti-terrorist operation. I need to make clear that any death is deeply regrettable, but as I understand the situation, the man was challenged, and refused to obey police instructions."

/// END ACT ///

/// OPT /// A former police commander, Roy Ramm, told British television, police now have standing orders to shoot to kill suspected suicide bombers because of the danger involved.

/// RAMM ACT ///

"The fact is that when you are dealing with suicide bombers, the only way you can stop them effectively and protect yourself is to try for a head shot. Because the danger of shooting into the body is that you may detonate a bomb which is wrapped around somebody."


Police Chief Blair, aware of the sensitivities of London's Muslim community, said the police are not picking on any group as they pursue suspected terrorists.

/// BLAIR ACT ///

"We remain resolute and will work tirelessly and imaginatively with every community in London to solve this crime. The most important message we have is that this operation is targeted against criminals. It is not targeted against any community, or any section of a community."

/// END ACT ///

In another development, police released close-circuit television images of four suspects in Thursday's blasts, and appealed to the public for any information on their whereabouts.

An al-Qaida-linked group, called the Abu Haf al-Masri Brigade, says it planted the explosives Thursday on three subway trains and a city bus. There were no deaths or serious injuries in the incidents.

The same group claimed responsibility for the July 7th bombings in London that killed 56 people. Police have not authenticated either claim.

Meanwhile, the union that represents London transport workers has told members they can refuse to work, if they feel their safety is jeopardized.

Many subway workers, bus drivers and passengers say they are fearful of more attacks. (SIGNED)


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