Saturday, July 23, 2005



Summary execution

Last night's shooting of a suspected terrorist in an underground station in London was nothing more than a summary execution. According to eyewitnesses, police chased a man onto a train in Stockwell station in South London. Then, according to one eyewitness,

"they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him,"

Other witnesses report that the victim was wearing a "bomb belt with wires coming out". But while it is one thing to shoot a suicide bomber when he poses a clear threat to others, it is quite another to do it while your mates are holding him down. It may have been justified, but it looks initially like a summary execution, outright murder, for which the officers involved should be prosecuted. At the very least, the police owe people an explanation of why they felt it was necessary - and so far their explanation that "the man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions" simply doesn't cut it.

27 comments:

that is what I was thinking when I saw the story on BBC despite hte fact that BBC seemed to totaly ignore this obvious angle - then again I guess they would get round to it later so that they could be sure they were not putting their foot in their mouth.

Anyway our legal system works in such a way that even an innocent party's best option is to shut up when they do somthing that might get them in trouble. So while we might want to demand that the police tell us everything (or the witness) - we should not expect it.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/23/2005 02:02:00 PM

God you're a clown, I/S - please stop denouncing Islamic terrorism in future, as it's blatantly obviously that you have more sympathy for any poor fanatic than you do for his/her potential victims. "It is one thing to shoot a suicide bomber when he poses a clear threat to others..."
Ths is the most stupid statement I've read all week. Please tell the board when a suicide bomber does NOT pose a clear threat to others? Is not the whole point of strapping explosives to one's body precisely to do so??
If this man entered the tube with the intention of maiming and killing as many innocent people as possible, if he was a walking time bomb that could detonate himself in a second by pressing a button or touching two wires together, then all around him are in mortal danger until he is either unconscious or dead. From what I've read, he was on a carriage packed full of people. Would you have police risk many lives by trying to arrest him? These decisions are made in split seconds by policemen under enormous stress, and I'm glad that for once the rights of a suicide bomber were a distant second to the rights of dozens of innocent civilians. Unless evidence emerges to the contrary, I commend the Metropolitan Police Force for saving, very probably, many lives.

As a left-winger who supports the robust defence of Western cultural values from the creeping fascism of Militant Islam, it saddens me to see so much of the left turn itself into a caricature of moral equivocation and excuse mongering for a repulsive sect of death and fanatical intolerance. Calling for the heads of policemen who are putting their lives on the line to defend innocent civilians of ALL colours and creeds just displays how infantile and reactionary much left wing thought remains. And that saddens me, as it is the values (apparently) precious to the left, from diversity to tolerance to sexual equality, that are most under threat from these waves of Islamic fascism.

And as for 'summary executions', I would point to the public hanging of two teenagers in Iran for 'Homosexual assault' as a salient and repulsive example of the practice. Thank heavens that groups like OUTRAGE speak against these atrocities with a courage and a clearness that you lack, I/S.

Posted by adrienne : 7/23/2005 02:22:00 PM

shame they only shot the bugger 5 times. If that was a 9mm glock, there should have been 12 rounds, I'd say the cop got it about right.

Did you hear what the "moderate" muslim leaders are saying - obey us and change foreign policy or our people (who are a tiny minority but who we can't control - yok yok) will carry on killing you.

Yup seems like its important we have some dialogue here.

At the same time Europe has finally woken up to the fact they have imported an fanatical jihadist deathcult and let it prosper in the name of multiculturalism.

Why don't you do some research and thinking on how the hell you deal with these nutters without interning muslims and creating chaos.

While you are at it, how big does the tiny minority have to be in NZ before it starts getting ideas. Remember that Zaoui is one of them - and of course in your eyes another "moderate" - and NZ was in Timor and is Western and decadent, so we fit the profile too.

And finally, as per your other commentator. 2 gay teenagers were hung in Iran this week after 14 months of torture - hundreds of lashings etc. Their crime - consensual sex. Their judgement under Sharia Law.

Given Choudrey's ducking and weaving about this topic - don't you think this sort of egregious human rights crime matters a bit and that a NZ lawmaker needs to be held to account for his beliefs?

but no, just keep repeating that the US and UK are wrong, and Islam is a religion of peace, and all will be well.

You're a bright insightful guy - i'm being deliberately provocative, but I mean every word of these points.

Oh and while your'e at it, any thoughts on Mallard telling stupid lies this week - seems you've been very quiet on this?

Posted by gazzadelsud : 7/23/2005 04:00:00 PM

Any progress is nice to see: Happily, The Guardian has finally fired the repulsive Dilpazier Aslam, author of the now-notorious 'sassy muslim' article two weeks ago that I/S slavishly posted here and liberally praised. Oops.
I guess the staff at the good broadsheet finally realised that having a racist homophobe who belonged to an extremist Islamic organisation didn't quite fit their 'brand identity'. And good for them.
I continue to hope that we'll see less accomodation with Islamofacsists from the European left, as the moral decrepitude of such a position becomes clear. More indiscriminate murder in Egypt, more evidence that this is a war against civilised values, fought by deranged fascists, and not some heroic anti-imperialist crusade that the wackier sections of the left seem to be in raptures over.

All, this, and back in Godzone the Labour party using underhand tactics I would previously have expected from National or NZ First - not a nice week. Thoughts to the families of the victims.

Posted by adrienne : 7/23/2005 05:25:00 PM

You can't fuck about when it comes to suicide bombers and the authorities need to have the option of shooting to kill when lives are threatedned.

However, Adrienne & Gazzadelsud have a read of the quote Idiot is referring to. By that eyewitness account they unloaded 5 rounds into someone they had already subdued. That is not protecting lives, that is murder plain and simple.

Sure he may have got what he deserved but that should be the decision of a judge not some plod carrying out summary justice.

Idiot is not defending the values of Islam when he protests about this he is rather defending the values that the West is supposed to hold dear...I should point out I'm not equating shooting one terrorist with blowing up a train but rather that its the start of a slippery slope that will see us swimming in the same moral sewer as Al Qaeda.

If you want an example of where this leads you need look no further than the current US administration who openly advocate torture and allow it to be carried out in America's name. Torture, murder and terrorism are all wrong regardless of who they are carried out on.

Posted by Michael : 7/23/2005 05:59:00 PM

Darwin.

Posted by muerk : 7/23/2005 06:04:00 PM

The shooting is under investigation so no doubt the facts will become clearer. It could have been a summary execution, an understandable split second decision of someone under a lot of stress or the eye witness account could be wrong. At this point we just don't know.

Posted by Michael : 7/23/2005 06:51:00 PM

Adrienne: as Mike has already pointed out, according to the witnesses, the man was shot when he had been dogpiled and was already subdued. Now, he may have had his hand on a trigger, which would certainly justify shooting him (police are allowed to use lethal force in defence of themselves or others, remember), but so far the police haven't alleged anything of the sort. Instead, they've said that he failed to obey instructions - and from the context, these were instructions to halt, given earlier in the chase...

Bluntly, this is dodgy as hell, and it stinks to high heaven - and it's perfectly reasonable to say so. I have no problem with law enforcement agencies fighting the war on terror and arresting (or even in some circumstances killing) terrorist suspects. But from the available evidence, this killing goes well beyond that, and into the territory of outright murder. And that is something we should all stand up against, no matter who the victim is.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/23/2005 07:40:00 PM

I don't blame you for thinking that this looks like a summary execution. It does, but perhaps there was cause to use deadly force.

That said, I do not believe that the London police would have shot someone for the purpose of shooting someone - I'm talking about the organization here, not the cop in question - because many leads would clam up if the cops started killing random muslims.

We're so used to cop-on-civilian violence that it's rare to hear of an incident where violent force could actually have been nessessary...

Wait and see on this. Right now I'm leaning towards the cop's story, but I don't have all the evidence.

Posted by Brian Boyko : 7/23/2005 10:28:00 PM

No, I disagree with the above. Any 'slippery slope' the West is sliding upon has nothing to do with the tube shooting, but everything to do with the liberal West's propensity to make very kind of excuse and equivication for fascism when it is staring them in the face. That the Ken Livingstones and Dilapzier Aslams of this world are taking seriously by large swathes of the left is as tragic and stupid as those who thought Nazi Germany had legitimate claims to Czechislovkia (sp!) in the late 1930s. Any fanaticism preaching racial/religious supremacy, global dominance, misogyny, homophobia, and violence is a cancer to equality and peaceful coexistence, and must be confronted and destroyed. As even the Guardian has asserted, it's time for the excuses to stop. This alone would robustly safeguard the hard-fought freedoms of the West.

As for the shooting, whether or not he was a bomber ( conflicting reports, at present), in the judgements of the moment, he posed unacceptable danger to life around him and was rightly shot. I doubt he was held helplessly and then 'executed' - reports I have read say he was still struggling. Asd I said before, given the consequence of him triggering a bomb he may have been carrying, the shooting remains just.

Posted by adrienne : 7/24/2005 06:05:00 AM

I trust that the commenters above having a crack at I/S have by now noted that he was absolutely right, that not only was this a summary execution but that the guy they shot had nothing whatsoever to do with the bombings and in particular that the Metropolitan Police have expressed their deep regret and called the killing a tragedy. BBC News.

Adrienne in particular, I trust you are lining up your apology to I/S right now.

God, I wonder what happens next. If it turns out this guy was a Muslim, all hell could break loose amongst the British Muslim community that has until now been largely supportive of Police action in this investigation. I desperately hope it doesn't, but if it does, it won't be hard to fathom why.

Posted by BerlinBear : 7/24/2005 08:06:00 AM

If ever there was a slippery slope this is it. Quoting from this morning's herald:

"British police have acknowledged that a man they shot dead in a London underground station on Friday was unconnected to bomb attacks on the city the previous day, calling the shooting tragic and regrettable.

"We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005," a police statement said. "

so um he wasn't actually a terrorrist at all. Maybe a scared kid?

I'd be scared too. Do the police think they are in an action movie?

Posted by Anonymous : 7/24/2005 10:12:00 AM

Well now, Gazzadelsud.

In the light of the admission this morning that the dead man was entirely innocent of any crime perhaps you would like to review the compassionate and humane assessment you regaled us with yesterday.

An apology to I/S maybe?

We await your reasoned and erudite response with interest........

Posted by Gary : 7/24/2005 10:14:00 AM

Apparently it is not OK to kill unarmed western civilians, but it is OK to kill unarmed middle eastern civilians.

All this paranoia about "militant Islam" makes me sick. Its just an exucuse to cheer on the USA as they murder and torture more innocent civilans in the Middle East. Tell me, would you guys kill Arab civilians without mercy?

Posted by millsy : 7/24/2005 11:20:00 AM

What matters is what the police thought at the time, or what they could be reasonably expected to have thought.
However it is also possible that the policeman was an insane psycopath just waiting to execute a member of the public - afterall there are such people in society.

Posted by Toonpi : 7/24/2005 11:25:00 AM

And now that we know that he was an innocent Brazilian, what do we think? A country, and a Police force, gone over the edge? Isn't this what the fanatics want to happen?

Another question, Id/Sav, what do you say about Muslims blowing up other Muslims, at Sharm-el-Sheik this time? Iraq yesterday, Afghanistan the day before.

Anti-Bush? Crap. Anti-Blair? Crap. Sheer fanatical hatred, of everything and everybody. A demented way of trying to impose a warped and twisted vision on the rest of the world.

This is the prospect of the future, and your blaming it on Bush, the US, Blair, the UK, means nothing.

Wiremu1306

Posted by Anonymous : 7/24/2005 11:44:00 AM

Spooky, blogs can channel the mob at the pike, knitting as the heads fall.

Posted by MERC : 7/24/2005 12:03:00 PM

Wiremu: I think it's wrong, of course. Did it really need to be said?

I don't know enough about Egyptian politics to speculate as to their goals. But no matter what those goals were, indiscriminately blowing people up is the wrong way to change things. And I apply that to governments, not just to terrorist groups.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/24/2005 12:15:00 PM

i'm with berlinbear et al on this one.

those you slammed Idiot for his comments should make the appropriate apologies.

he's happy to apologise for making the wrong call, as he has done in the past.

maybe you should spend less time trying to justify someone being shot in the head at point blank, and even less time flapping your yaps about things you have little information about.

Posted by che tibby : 7/24/2005 12:47:00 PM

well I'm not afraid to come back.

Its a tragedy that this guy got shot. He was really dumb to try and run away from armed and jumpy cops immediately following a bombing. But its still a terrible thing to have happened.

Why were the cops armed and jumpy again?

Every other statement i made I absolutely stand by.

I am still pleased that the gloves are off in Britain, and I hope that this incident doesnt cause a cop to hesitate in the future - I also hope a bunch of Imams get their benefits cut off and one-way tickets home as quickly as possible.

I love London. I never wanted to see cops with guns in the streets there.

I hope our side wins and wins quickly so we can return to normality.

Posted by gazzadelsud : 7/24/2005 01:37:00 PM

One man is shot in London. It is, I agree, a tragedy. Probably inexcusable, we will know when the facts come out. A reaction, maybe - probably - an over-reaction - to Muslim attacks on London.

Eighty eight people are killed in Sharm-el-Sheikh. Almost all are Muslims. Killed by, it is suspected by none less than the Egyptian PM, Muslims. A reaction, or an over-reaction - to what? Id/Sav, you know about these things, please explain.
Wiemu1306

Posted by Anonymous : 7/24/2005 02:01:00 PM

I see nothing to apologise for. I reiterate, given the information the police were dealing with in the seconds they made the decision, a day after a second attempted subway bombing, I back them entirely. If the deceased in question was held down, frisked, delcared safe, and then shot, the police deserve everything they get. Chasing a man thought to be a suicide bomber with perhaps seconds to play with, they obviously did what they had been ordered to do. Let's reiterate. He'd been in a house under surveillance, he was followed and challanged: "armed police, don't move!". He then flees, in a large jacket in warm weather into the very place where the bombings have been occuring, onto a train full of passengers. Any commander of men, at that moment, would be negligent if they DIDN'T treat him as a suicide bomber. Tragedy, but given the real and present potential for a death toll of 20-40 times the life of a man, the correct decision.

Given the amount of hysteria here about this, when at least 90 innocent people have been blown to pieces in Egypt, without the benefit of a warning, I find this finger pointing enormously hypocritical. Morality is not something selectively engaged to reinforce political prejudices, nor a stick to beat the West with whilst ignoring other arocities. Now tell me how you expect to protect innocent citizens on the tube after two terrorist attacks?

Posted by adrienne : 7/24/2005 02:29:00 PM

Er, kill everyone first?

Posted by MERC : 7/24/2005 04:34:00 PM

Adrienne,

I take it you would gladly kill unarmed men with glee??

Posted by millsy : 7/24/2005 05:59:00 PM

oh Millsey, you are such a little tosser arent you - why don't you wander back to your own little blood filled fantasy island.

Posted by gazzadelsud : 7/24/2005 10:03:00 PM

At least I dont condone the butchery and murder of unarmed civilians, not like you,

Posted by millsy : 7/24/2005 11:33:00 PM

Milsy,

Yes, actually thistime you're right. I DO enjoy killing unarmed men - and women too, for that matter. I find that it improves my appetite and digestion enormously. Before breakfast, I usually take the Uzi 9mm out on a morning stroll, and happily account for a few New Jersey joggers, school children, or dog-walkers I chance across upon the way. If any of them are peculiarly good specimens of their type, I photograph myself beside them, and I have been known to take the odd jogger to the taxidermist, for mounting in the trophy room.

I would recommend the practice to someone like yourself who obviously suffers from catarrh, night-starvation, and afflictions of the splenetic type.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must be off to finish constructing my maimai near the retirement village.

Posted by adrienne : 7/25/2005 03:36:00 AM