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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Don't inhibit police, Blair says
Abul Koyair, 20, and his injured brother Mohammed Abdulkahar
The brothers said they feared for their lives during the raid
Tony Blair has told anti-terror police not to be "inhibited" in the wake of controversy over the Forest Gate raid.

Mr Blair told MPs he fully endorsed the apology given by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman for the "hurt" caused in the raid.

But he said Mr Hayman's team were doing a superb job and he stood "101%" behind them when they acted on intelligence.

The man shot during the Forest Gate raid, Mohammed Abdulkahar, has criticised Mr Blair's stance.

Mr Abdulkahar, one of the two brothers arrested and later released in the raid, said on Tuesday: "Is he 101% behind the bullet which went into my chest?

"I am the same age as his son. I am as innocent as his son."

Alienating Muslims?

Police have been accused of being heavy-handed in using 250 officers for the raid.

And community leaders are demanding more details about the intelligence which sparked the operation.

At prime minister's questions, the area's Labour MP, Lyn Brown, welcomed Mr Hayman's apology.

But she warned: "While the police must protect the public by acting on intelligence they must do so in a way which is sensitive and does not alienate the community, in this case the Muslim community."

Mr Blair understood her concern as he urged people to recognise the difficult work anti-terror police did to protect Britain.

"They are faced with very difficult situations when they receive information or intelligence," he said.

"We can only imagine what would happen if they received intelligence, did not act on it, and then something terrible occurred.

"So although I entirely endorse everything that Andy [Hayman] has very properly said, I stand 101% behind the police and the security services in the difficult work they do.

"And I do not want them to be inhibited in doing that work. They have to do what is necessary to protect the public and they do it in a very fine and outstanding way."




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