Health and Safety 7 – concealed explosives
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 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 with 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.
What is the inference the jury is supposed to draw from this?
That the wannabe suicide bombers went out on 21/7 with some bombs in rucksacks, leaving some easily concealable, military-grade explosives at home, which ‘Osman’ (de Menezes) could have concealed under his denim jacket the next day?