Armed police who shot woman in Willesden anti-terror raid were not wearing bodycams

Sean Morrison
Raid: Police were not wearing bodycams: Twitter/@kieranmckenna1

Armed police who shot and injured a woman during a dramatic anti-terror raid in north London were not wearing bodycams, the police watchdog has said.

Officers fired at the 21-year-old as they swooped on the Willesden home to foil what is said to be an “active” terror plot last week.

Key police witnesses inside the terraced property were not equipped with the body-worn cameras, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said on Thursday.

The watchdog, which is probing the operation, added that no officers are currently under investigation over the incident in Harlesden Road.

Terror: Harlesden Road where the raid happened (Jeremy Selwyn)

Elite armed officers carried out a "specialist entry" into the property shortly before 7pm last Thursday.

Police fired CS gas into the address, which had been under observation in a current counter-terrorism operation.

The injured suspect was eventually discharged from hospital and taken in for questioning.

A total of 10 people have now been arrested in connection with the alleged plot, including three teenagers held after a series of raids in east London.

Witnesses reported hearing screaming and shots as armed police in gas masks burst into the address.

A mother-of-one said: “We were just about to go shopping when we heard ‘bang, bang, bang, bang’. We went to the window and saw a number of armed police there with their guns pointing at our next-door neighbour’s window.”

The IPCC said they were continuing to gather evidence and had spoken to the officers involved.

Deputy chairwoman Sarah Green said: "Our investigators have been working hard over the last few days to secure evidence to help us understand the circumstances surrounding this incident.

"As well as gathering physical evidence and accounts from those officers involved we are also looking to establish details around the planning of the operation and in particular the briefing provided to the officers prior to their deployment to the address.

"We have not yet spoken to any non-police witnesses many of whom are linked to a counter terrorism operation being conducted by the Metropolitan Police.”

"We remain conscious that the operation is ongoing and fast-moving and must be allowed to run its course.

"The position remains that no police officer is under investigation as we continue to establish the details of what happened."

A 27-year-old man, named as Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, who was detained in Whitehall just hours before the raid in a separate counter-terrorism operation also remains in police custody.

Terror suspected detained at Whitehall (AFP/Getty Images)

Armed police swooped on Ali, who was allegedly carrying a rucksack of knives in Whitehall, a stone’s throw from Downing Street and yards from the scene of last month’s deadly attack by Khalid Masood in Westminster.

Believed to be a British national born overseas who went to school in Tottenham, north London, Ali reportedly joined a humanitarian mission to Gaza in 2010.

Following his dramatic arrest in front of crowds of tourists, he was taken for questioning at a south London police station.

Tackled: Armed police surrounded the man (Twitter/@3213dev)

Scotland Yard said following a warrant of further detention being granted at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday, he can be questioned until May 4.

Giving an update on both counter-terror operations on Thursday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Senior National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, said: "Due to the arrests made, I believe we have contained the threats that they posed.

"With the attack in Westminster on 22 March so fresh in people's minds, I would like to reassure everyone that across the country officers are working around the clock to identify those people who intend to commit acts of terror.”

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