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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Met sought suicide bomber advice
Jean Charles de Menezes
Jean Charles de Menezes: Followed to station
British police worried about suicide bombers were advised by Israeli security forces, a court has heard.

A senior officer told the Metropolitan Police's trial over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes that the Israelis warned of new terror tactics.

They warned suicide bombers had developed devices that could be more easily concealed about the person.

The Met denies breaking health and safety laws in relation to the Brazilian's death on 22 July 2005.

Two elite firearms officers shot the electrician seven times on a train at Stockwell Underground Station fearing he was one of the men responsible for the previous day's failed suicide bombings.

Bombers: Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif
Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif attacked an Israeli bar in 2003

The prosecution allege the Metropolitan Police put the public at risk by allowing their suspect to travel from his home to the station before they intervened.

The Metropolitan Police say that officers did their best in extraordinary circumstances - and that while the shooting was a mistake, it was not a crime.

Giving evidence to the Old Bailey trial, Detective Inspector Andrew Whiddett of the force's Special Branch said the Metropolitan Police had taken steps to prepare for a suicide bomber attack.

Det Insp Whiddett was the Operations Room officer with responsibility for surveillance teams who first identified Mr de Menezes. He was seen leaving a block of flats linked to one of the failed bombers.

Those steps included consulting Israeli security forces which had the most experience of dealing with such attacks, he told the court.

The Israelis had met Met police officers in the months leading up to the July 2005 suicide bombings on London.

In the briefings, said Det Insp Whiddett, Israeli security chiefs had demonstrated how suicide bombers had developed new ways of carrying a bomb that "may not be apparent".

Both the 7 and 21 July attackers used bulky bombs in rucksacks, but Mr de Menezes was not carrying anything on the morning of his death.

Det Insp Whiddett told the jury that Israeli officers had briefed the Met on one attack carried out by two British men.

Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif attacked a Tel Aviv bar in 2003. The bombs used in that attack included "sheet explosives of a military kind concealed about the body more effectively than the traditional home-made suicide belts and vests," said the police officer.

The case continues.



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