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 to kill”:
“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.
SO13: The Anti-terrorist Branch
Of significance in setting the antiterrorist policy under “Operation Kratos” is the so-called SO13 or Antiterrorist Branch. .
The various special operations units including SO13, Special branch and SO19 of the Met police are overseen by Andy Hayman, the recently appointed assistant commissioner. The SO19 is one of several entities under the jurisdiction of the Met police. (see below)
Once SO13 and Special Branch decided to carry out Operation Kratos, specific guidelines were provided to SO19 to carry out the “shoot to kill” agenda.
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 force”.
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)
Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), He is the author of a forthcoming book America’s “War on Terrorism” , Global Research, 2005.
The Pakistani Connection: The London Bombers and “Al Qaeda’s Webmaster” by Michel Chossudovsky