London police: subway shooting not connected to attacks

Police announced Saturday that the man officers shot dead on a London subway car Friday morning was “not connected” with the bombing incidents of the day before.

“For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets,” the police said. “The man emerged from a block of flats in the Stockwell area that were under police surveillance as part of the investigation into the incidents on Thursday 21st July,” the statement said. “He was then followed by surveillance officers to the underground station. His clothing and behavior added to their suspicions.”

But Muslim representatives expressed concern that the shooting marked a change of policy in the use of lethal force. “We understand there might have been reasons to do this, but we need to know in what context this man was shot and if it’s true he was shot five times,” said Muhammad Abdul Bari, deputy secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, a coalition of prominent mainstream organizations. “Normally in this country this doesn’t happen.”

Muslims from South Asia have been especially anxious since three of the four men who allegedly carried out the deadly bombings of July 7 were identified as British-born Muslims of Pakistani descent. Officials from the council said Muslims had been calling in all day asking for details of the shooting and worrying that they could be singled out by police.

Washington Post, 23 July 2005