Fraudster was informant in botched Forest Gate raid

    Scotland Yard’s botched anti-terrorist operation in Forest Gate, east London, which led to the shooting of an innocent Muslim man, was based on the word of petty criminal serving a sentence for dishonesty offences unconnected to terrorism. Official sources have told The Independent on Sunday that prison officers believed the informant was “operating out of his league”. Yet Special Branch continued to give him special phone favours even after his intelligence proved false. The raid in 2006, involving 250 officers, worsened community relations and sparked a national debate on police tactics. Scotland Yard, backed by the Government and the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), has always maintained it had credible and specific intelligence. But the informant and his information were never independently assessed. The revelation will further undermine the Government’s case for extending police powers to detain terror suspects without charge from 28 to 42 days. Leading lawyers say alarm bells should ring when intelligence is received from prisoners. Hugh Tomlinson QC, an expert in claims against the police, said: “It’s extremely unreliable, because they’re willing to say anything to help their own position.”

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