Anger as training day anti-terror cops apologise for ‘offence’
VOLUNTEERS: People in ear defenders and safety goggles take part in mock ‘attack’ GROVELLING police chiefs have issued an apology for making the ‘suicide bomber’ used in a terrorist training exercise appear to be a Muslim.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said on Twitter it was “unacceptable and I apologise for the offence caused”.
It came after criticism online of the exercise saying making the ‘terrorist’ Islamic ‘ panders to stereotypes and further divides us and increase anti-Muslim hate crime’.
Leading calls for an explanation was twitter user Siema Iqbal who asked them why the terrorist had shouted “Allahu Akbar” before detonating the ‘device’.
The ‘ bomber’ yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ burst into Manchester’s Trafford Centre on Monday night and detonated his bomb as terrified ‘ shoppers’ ran for their lives.
Gunfire and explosions rang out throughout the night in the North West as anti-terror police swooped on the shopping centre to deal with the ‘attack’.
Armed officers used training techniques and counter-terror tactics to test their response to a Paris or Brussels-type attack in the exercise at the Trafford Centre shopping complex on the outskirts of Manchester.
Around 800 people were involved in the role-play exercise which started at midnight at the entrance to The Orient food court when a man dressed all in black walked in and shouted at the crowd.
Moments later an ‘explosion’ rocked the food hall and volunteers – wearing ear defenders and safety glasses – dropped to the floor.
Many were made up to look as if they had horror injuries and others screamed out ‘in pain’.
Smoke filled the entrance to the food court as volunteers ran from restaurants, as if they were trying to dash to safety.
Police stressed there is no specific threat to the shopping centre and the exercise was planned last December.
But it has given them and businesses the opportunity to test their emergency terror response.
The current UK terror threat level is described as severe, meaning an attack is highly likely, according to the security services.