The cold blooded murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, in the Stockwell underground
was no accident. London Metropolitan Police had approved a policy of "shoot
"a controversial tactic deployed only in the most extreme circumstances
but one police have been preparing to use for the last two weeks.".
The shoot to kill policy was undertaken under the auspices of "Operation
Kratos", named after the mythical Spartan hero. It was carried out by the
London Metropolitan's elite SO19 firearms unit often referred to as the Blue
Berets. The latter are described as the equivalent to the US SWAT teams, yet
in this particular case, they were not wearing uniforms.
The training of the S019 marksmen was patterned on that of Israel. They had
been briefed "by officers who had been to Israel to meet their counterparts
there and pick up tips gleaned from the experience of dealing with Hamas bombers".
"During the Kratos briefings, the Met team were told that, contrary
to their normal arms training, they should fire at the head rather than the
chest. Although the chest is easier to hit, it is not as reliable in causing
instant death, giving a bomber a chance to detonate his device.... "(The
Scottish Daily Record, 23 July, 2005).
The "Israeli counterparts" refers to Israel's National Police (INP),
Shin Bet (the Israel Security Agency) and Israel's Ministry of Internal Security.
But the police antiterrorist operations conducted by the INP against Hamas and
Islamic Jihad are carried out in close coordination with the Military (Israeli
Defense Force) and Mossad.
Israel has also collaborated in the training of members of the FBI and the
LAPD. Top law enforcement officers of the FBI were trained in Israel under a
program sponsored by the The Jewish Institute for National Security. (see http://www.jinsa.org/articles/articles.html/function/view/categoryid/2168/documentid/3020/history/3,2359,2166,2168,3020
The SO19 is one of several entities under the jurisdiction of the Met pollice.
Of more significance in setting the antiterrorist policy under Operation Kratos
is the so-called SO13 or Antiterrorist Branch, which has links with MI5.
Essentially what we are dealing with is the formation of a death squadron mentality
under the auspices of what is stilled officially considered a "civilian police
Despite the controversy surrounding the shoot-to-kill operations, London mayor
Ken Livingstone "had nothing but praise for the police".
Rather than condemning the killing and calling for an investigation, he casually
laid the blamed for the death of Jean Charles de Menezes on the terrorists:
"The police acted to do what they believed necessary to protect the
lives of the public... This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of
deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility." (BBC, 23 July 2005)