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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 22:09 GMT 23:09 UK
Questions of Security: A BBC News special
Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards hosted a special BBC News programme allowing the public to raise questions and concerns relating to all the recent bombings in London.

A panel of experts was on hand to answer questions following the suicide bombings of 7 July and the failed attacks of 21 July.

The panel were:

  • Constitutional Affairs Secretary, Lord Falconer
  • Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis
  • Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair
  • Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti
  • Principal of the Muslim College, Dr Zaki Badawi
  • Journalist and political commentator, Janet Daley

Do we need new laws to combat terrorism? Should the police be under greater restraint? What should the Muslim community do to combat extremism? How should we respond to the threat of terrorism? Send your comments using the form below.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion received so far:

The police have done a wonderful job of following up on leads and seeking out the people who are involved in these atrocities. On one occasion they made a dreadful mistake but we must not forget the pressure they are under to protect us. How different the response of the public had they prevented yet another atrocity in London.
Maggie Charles, Brighton

I want to congratulate the security forces for their prompt action regarding the terrorist attacks. Too many people are always finding fault with the police. If the person killed had been a suicide bomber, we would be praising them instead of condemning them.
Brenda Elliott, Liverpool

I am disappointed that we are focusing on the death of one innocent person at the hands of the police, rather than innocent death of 52 people at the hands of Islamic terrorists. The police deeply regret this issue. Let's focus on the cause of the problem which is the terrorists themselves.
Roger Wade, Hove, Sussex

The police do have a duty to get things right, but they also only sometimes have split seconds to make that call. Many more people could have died last Friday.
Alan Hawker, Barry

Shami Chakrabati has spoken well. I have heard her before and thought she was misguided, but I am grateful for her attitude.
Steve Staley, Buckingham

It is clear from comments made by all the panel so far that nobody knows really why these terrorists have acted; until we know from them their real reasons how can we act to solve the problems?
Paul Thompson, Shefford

Most British people have no idea where their kids are and what they are doing, so why are we expecting Muslim parents to suddenly know?
Tahir, London

I am grateful to the police and security services. I am on London transport every day and feel safer knowing that they are there, and have 100% confidence in what they are doing. I could not do what they do every day.
Victoria Budden, Barnet, Hertfordshire

Dr Badawi is at least postulating the right viewpoint, "We need to lance the boil." Nobody is saying Iraq is the only cause, but it is one factor which has exacerbated the situation. Apologists for the war deliberately distort the argument. The gentleman with the dark beard would do better on the panel than most of the existing members.
Robert Hill, Arbroath

The attitude of those members of the audience hostile to the Met is infuriating. Would they prefer that the individual had been permitted to escape on the train and potentially set off a bomb? The propensity to concentrate on bashing the authorities over an incident such as this really isn't helpful.
Lynn Hardwick, Milton Keynes, Bucks

The reason these boys are becoming suicide bombers is because they are being brainwashed by the uneducated hoodlums calling themselves imams. Their lives are made to feel hopeless and they are given power by their involvement.
Leona Murphy, London

We have stopped the second attack! We are strong enough to stop the third if they dare!
Paul James, Nr London

Islamic extremists use the name of Islam to justify their own political agenda.
Ranj Alaaldin, Radlett, Hertfordshire

Our police are under a massive amount of pressure, we should stand by them.
Laurence Moon, Littlehampton

Iraq is being used as an excuse for terrorism. If we pulled out of Iraq do we seriously think terrorism would stop?
Steve, Gloucester

Please remember these policemen are protecting our country. We have to protect Britain and the police help us do that, so we have to work with them.
Karen, Cheshire

I cannot believe some of the ridiculous comments regarding the accidental killing - this man could have been and acted like a terrorist - he did not stop when challenged and our brave police should have massive praise.
Suzanne Smith, Aviemore

As an ex-soldier, I sympathise with the policeman who shot the man on the underground. The guy looked and acted the part and believing that he and several members of the public could have been blown up at any moment, he carried put his duty as trained.
Ted Fletcher, Cornwall

I would just like to say thank you to the police officers who shot the man in London, as I think they were very brave running towards the man who may have killed them with a bomb.
Paul Tym, Sheffield

Have we lost total control of our own security? The police have done absolutely nothing wrong. Innocent people do not run!
Felicity Uhoda, Bristol

Whilst I send my utmost sympathy to the family of the man who died, I have to applauded the police who, in very difficult circumstances, took what action they believed was necessary to protect members of the public from what they must have believed was a very real risk. The enquiry will tell us more, but we should support our police who do an exceptional job under difficult times.
Tina Williams, Worcester, UK

The police where right in their actions. How where they to know the man wasn't going to set off a bomb even while on the ground?
Gavin J, Leeds

Well done Janet Daley and Sir Ian. The word nanosecond sums it up completely. Split second decisions are virtually impossible situations. The police were in a lose-lose situation from start to finish.
Lisa Smith, Selby, North Yorkshire

I totally agree with the police's actions in bringing the suspected terrorist down. Is it not better to kill one person who is highly suspected of being a terrorist and possibly willing to die in the process of killing others, than to have another mass bombing incident? My utmost respect and gratitude to the police and all the emergency services involved for their courage and unfaltering determination.
Chris Pearce, Southgate, London

It's a grave pity that it took an outrage of that nature to kick start the authorities into action and let it be said that an assault of this nature has been in the pieline since 9/11
Alan Gregg, Bromley, Kent

I want to express my fear/disgust at the notion that the terrorism act could be amended to allow suspects to be held for up to three months without trial. However difficult the times are, we have a duty to protect all people's right to legal representation. If we let the suicide bombers turn this country into a police state, then they will have succeeded in their aim.
Michael Rennie, Milton Keynes

You will never rid of terror. Just as the IRA are about to cease fire, we have another on our hands.
Ian Wild, East Sussex

I do not agree that the young man shot at Stockwell was a near execution. They suspected him to be a suicide bomber. He should not have jumped the barrier and should have stopped when questioned.
Mark Alexander, Park Gate, Hampshire

There is no justification for the killing of innocent people here or anywhere in the world.
Abdi Dol, London

I have concerns that we are told within hours of Mr De Menezes' shooting that he is directly linked to the attempted attack, then later he's shown to be innocent. I know we live in desperate times, but our security services have a duty to make sure that they get it right.
Alan Twomlow, Birmingham

Asylum and immigration were highlighted during the recent elections, much to the stated disgust of many. Events of the last few weeks have only served to highlight what a major problem we have.
John Nevill, Newcastle

If elements of our foreign policy make us more vulnerable to terrorism, shouldn't our leaders be honest about it and admit it? After all it is innocent commuters on public transport, not presidents and prime ministers, who are more at risk.
Gregory Roumeliotis, Glasgow

Do you think that surrendering our liberties simply plays into the hands of the bombers? Isn't fear the real enemy, an enemy we should not surrender to?
Mark Seaden, Durham, England

The IRA were terrorists in the 80s and 90s. At least we knew what they were 'fighting' for. What is Al Qaeda fighting for?
Mudiwa, Swansea

Birmingham police use a non-lethal taser gun to arrest a suspect and are criticised because the device might have set any bomb off. London police use a conventional gun and are criticised for going over the top and needlessly killing a man. Are the people who criticise prepared to attempt to catch a potential suicide bomber themselves and demonstrate how it should be done?
Steve B, Birmingham

Why must we call it the war on terror when we are really fighting for peace and freedom? By calling it the war on terror the terrorists have already won a victory.
John Eldridge, London

It's abominable that these young people would come into the country as dependents of asylum seekers and then spend a life as ungrateful thugs.
Zora Boswell, Oakland, California USA

The aim of terrorism is to change our way of life. We now see people chasing their own shadows, rampant racism across the country and an innocent man shot 7 times in the head, not by a terrorist but by a police officer.
Terry Roberts, London

Surely the main reason for using a Tazer was to make sure the suspect was not killed. He may be a valuable source of information.
Jeff Devereux, Hassocks


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