British police shot dead a man strongly suspected to have been one of yesterday’s would-be suicide bombers as he tried to board a train full of people at Stockwell Tube station.
It has also been reported that British Muslims are worried there is a ‘shoot to kill’ policy in force. However contrary to what Hollywood would have you believe, anytime a policeman shoots someone, they are prepared to kill them (the usual policy is to shoot at the ‘centre of mass’). Technically they are ‘shooting to incapacitate’ and that often means killing the target. If a person who has been shot and incapacitated subsequently survives, that is a bonus.
However in the case of a suspected suicide bomber, once the decision to shoot has been made, taking the extra step of a bullet through the brain of a fallen suspect who under other circumstances would not be shot again may well be justified, given that the ability to so much as touch a button makes them a continued threat. This is particularly true if they have gone down near a number of civilians as was indeed the case this morning.
I am only surprised it has taken Al Qaeda this long to get around to attacking us here in London, given that they thought nothing of slaughtering hundreds of African civilians in Kenya and Tanzania and dozens of Australian civilians in Bali over the last few years since 9/11. We are in a war against an implacable enemy and although we have every right to demand our security services only use appropriate force in our defence, unless the facts turn out to be quite different than so far reported, this looks like it was a ‘clean shoot’.