A British-born Muslim man shot and wounded in an anti-terrorist police raid was released Friday without charge along with his brother, apparently for lack of evidence.
The men, who were not identified, were arrested June 2 when police stormed a row house in east London after they received intelligence suggesting one of the men had built an explosive device that could release a toxic chemical gas.
Police shot the 23-year-old brother in circumstances that remain unclear before arresting him and his 20-year-old brother. Authorities have not said whether the shooting was a mistake. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the shooting.
Police said only that the men were freed without charge but gave no further explanation of the reasons for their release. They said detectives were still developing the intelligence they had received and would “continue to exhaust all lines of inquiry.”
Police also said they had completed their search of the home where the men were arrested and would hand the house back to its occupants. They did not say what, if anything, they had found.
Permission to hold suspects for up to two weeks is routinely granted in terror cases.
The raid had outraged many British Muslims and The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the releases.
“The nature of last week’s raid and the circumstances surrounding the shooting ... had created considerable unease in the Muslim community, particularly among the younger generation,” said Muhammad Abdul Bari, the group’s secretary general. “This decision to release the two brothers without charge confirms their innocence and we hope that the appropriate lessons will be learned by all involved in this tragic incident.”
Police last year shot and killed an unarmed Brazilian man they mistakenly believed to be a terrorist at a London subway station. They have apologized for the shooting, which came a day after four men unsuccessfully attempted to bomb the capital’s transport system. Two weeks earlier, four suicide bombers killed 52 commuters in the transit system.