More bad news from London

The news that the man shot dead by police in a London station was not connected with the terror attacks is very disturbing to me. It’s too early to draw any conclusions about whether the police acted properly, but there’s no doubt that, however it happened, this was a win for the terrorists, who have claimed another innocent victim. As the name implies, the main point of terrorism is to create fear, and a situation where people are afraid of the police who are supposed to be protecting them is far worse than anything that can be created by the small risk of being in the wrong place when a bomb goes off.

Terrorism is essentially a criminal activity, and the only way to beat it in the long run is through effective police work. The terrorists of the radical left and right who operated in the 1970s and 1980s were beaten in the end, and the same will be true of the jihadists. But so far at least, the response to the London attacks seems to have more failures than successes. Let’s hope there’s better news soon.

79 thoughts on “More bad news from London

  1. The policy of the London police is that suspected suicide bombers must be killed by shooting them in the head, lest they let off the bomb. (If you shoot them in the legs, they could detomate the bomb. If you shoot them in the chest, the bullet could detonate the bomb.) They have apparently learnt this from the Israeli authorities, who are very experienced at dealing with suicide bombers.

    This was why the police pumped seven bullets from point blank range into the head of Mr De Menezes, even though he was on the ground, facing down with his arms speadeagled and with a policeman on his back.

    So , yes, the taser might have set off a bomb. Perhaps the west midlands police figured that even terrorists don’t go walking around at home with bombs strapped to their chests. Mind you, even the terrorists who did let the bombs off didn’t have them strapped to their chests. They had them in their bags.

  2. Official update on Sr Menezes:

    The police now claim that Sr Menezes was fired at 11 times. Three bullet missed. Go figure.

    The police now admit that he wasn’t running away. He was sitting in a seat. And the police now acknowledge that he didn’t wear a dangerous suicide-bomber-style puffy jacket.

    However, they refuse to resile from the fact that Sr Menezes was swarthy.

  3. If you shoot a hand gun that many times in rapid sequence, it is quite likely to miss a few times because the gun will pull. Whether it is sound advice to fire that often or not depends on a number of things; in general, it increases the odds of a rapid kill (what counts is the number of hits, not misses).

    But it quite clearly endangered the life of the policeman who was pinioning the victim at the time. This should have been taken into consideration.

    As for swarthiness, it is quite clear that, while wilfully being a foreigner might not seem grounds for immediate violent steps, nevertheless it does show that the vast majority would not have been at any risk from the police in similar circumstances.

    By the way, how many people not only recognise irony, but also recognise that – like much humour – it rests on a strong basis in actual fact?

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