Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Released 'Terror suspects' tell of their terror ordeal

Brothers Abul Koyair and Mohammed Abdul Kahar
The two arrested, and subsequently released brothers, who were the subject of a terror raid 11 days ago, today held a press conference. CNN were the first to break away to the conference, followed soon thereafter by Sky News and BBC 24. Both UK broadcasters were delayed by a press conference held by David Beckham, team captain of the England squad in Baden Baden. After a short introduction, the brother who was shot started to speak. Mohammed Abdul Kahar said, “At about 4 O’clock in the morning I was woken up by screams from my brother”. The conference then halted as one of the brother’s representatives asked the press to refrain from using flash. Kahar continued, “I got out of bed, I just had boxer shorts and a t-shirt, I open my door and I took the lead in front of my brother.” He said he was confused as to what was happening, “I assumed a robbery was happening, my brother was still screaming and as soon as I turned around all I saw was a orange spark [and heard] a big bang, I see a hole in my chest, I thought an armed robbery as taken place, and the officer then said ‘Shut the f*** and stay their’, but I still wasn’t aware they were police, all I heard them say was ‘secure the room, secure the room’.” He spoke of further assault as he was taken from the house at 46, Lansdown Road in Forest Gate, East London. “I was dragged down the stairs by my left leg hitting my head. I was dragged onto the pavement. And I could hear my mother crying, and I shouted ‘I didn’t do nothing’ and I thought I was gonna die, and the ambulance came and I was put in the ambulance.”

The other brother, Abul Koyair, 20, then described what he experienced. “I got out of my bed and I saw my brother coming out his room and he was going down the stairs and I was behind him, and I saw a flash and heard a loud bang, and then it was really quiet, no-one said anything, and it was like a dream at first…and I thought to myself ‘Why didn’t they shoot me instead’. Then they grabbed me and hit me and told me to “Shut the f*** up’. At this point CNN cut away to the studio with the presenter summing up the proceedings so far. BBC 24 and Sky continued coverage. Kahar then told reporters how he was placed in a boiler suit, bound by the hands and feet and told he was to face terrorism charges. He said he had been shot in the chest and it exited his shoulder. “I was only in hospital for 1 day”. And he claimed pressure had been placed on medical staff to release him into police custody early. On being handed over to police Kahar said he was offered a wheelchair, “But I made a decision to come out walking.” At Paddington police station “They asked many questions asking if I knew various people and whether I knew of any terror organisations…One officer then said ‘I know it’s a daft question but are you a member of the Ku Klux Klan’, they asked it twice in the interview”. Kahar then described his work and social life. He told reporters how he worked at Tescos and worked over 50 hours to support his family. He said he could not understand why they were targeted or where the ‘intelligence’ came from. The BBC cut away at 12:17 [11:17 GMT] after Kahar told reporters that the first words the police said was “shut the f*** up” soon after he’d been shot. Sky continued…

Mohammed Kahar said he was not told by police that they were looking for a chemical bomb and that he only learned this from his solicitor. He said he would like an apology from the police and although compensation was likely to be very high insisted “Money is the least of my worries at the moment”, and said he wanted an apology from the police. His brother Abdul Koyair, 20, said he, nor his family, had any faith in the Police and had previously made enquiries as to becoming a CSO [Community Support Officer]. But of the police involved in the raid he said he bore no malice as they were only doing their job, but blamed the men who gave the orders on spurious information. “Most of the police do a good job” he said, “Without the police there would be chaos”.

Both brothers spoke about how the raid and detention by police for 8 days had affected their life. “It’s turned my life upside down…I keep getting flash backs”, Kahar said, adding that he was on medication to help him sleep. Indeed their life has been turned upside down, along with their parents’ house. The cat has gone missing and what used to be a home is in a state of chaos. Everything has been looked at and bagged up. Tiles removed from the bathroom. Holes drilled in walls and the garden has been dug up, including a vegetable patch which was ready to harvest a crop of broad beans.

As the conference drew to a close Mohammed Kahar said the media were quick to judge and said, “I am against terrorists like anyone else.”

The two brothers are expected to take part in a community march in London on Sunday June 18th. Posted by Picasa

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