GMP confirm that “Allahu Akbar” was always part of terrorism training script

Police sources have confirmed that the use of “Allahu Akbar” was always part of the script for the counter-terrorism training exercise at the Trafford Centre, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) came under heavy criticism on social media following the staged training exercise with people demanding to know why it had been linked to Islam with the inclusion of “Allahu Akbar”.

GMP sources told M.E.N the use of the phrase was always part of the operation, which took five months to plan, and not the random idea of an officer during the training.

Following a backlash from community groups, Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan responded personally on Twitter, saying the use of the phrase was unacceptable and apologised to anyone who was offended.

He then released a statement repeating the apology and saying it was “unacceptable” to use the phrase.

ACC Shewan said: “GMP, along with other agencies, has been hosting a counter terrorism training exercise based at the Trafford Centre, which began with a mock suicide bomber detonating a bomb inside the shopping centre.

“It is a necessity for agencies including the police to train and prepare using exercises such as this, so that we would be in the best possible position to respond in the event that the unthinkable happened and an attack took place.

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

“The scenario for this exercise is based on a suicide attack by an extremist Daesh-style organisation and the scenario writers have centred the circumstances around previous similar attacks of this nature, mirroring details of past events to make the situation as real-life as possible for all of those involved.

“However, on reflection, we acknowledge that it was unacceptable to use this religious phrase immediately before the mock suicide bombing, which so vocally linked this exercise with Islam. We recognise and apologise for the offence that this has caused.”

Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd, said: “This was a very good exercise in preparing for a situation we never want to see, but must be ready for.

“The public expects the highest standard of training where all of our emergency services locally work together effectively with those who with national responsibility to keep the UK safe. This planning event has helped ensure that should the unthinkable ever happen, Greater Manchester will be ready.

“However, it is frustrating the operation has been marred by the ill-judged, unnecessary and unacceptable decision by organisers to have those playing the parts of terrorists to shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ before setting off their fake bombs. It didn’t add anything to the event, but has the potential to undermine the great community relations we have in Greater Manchester.”

Manchester GP and 5Pillars contributor, Dr Siema Iqbal was one of those who prompted the apology.

She tweeted: “Please provide an explanation @gmpolice @RSutcliffeACC @amandacomms why the terrorist in #CTexercise was #Muslim and shouted Allahu Akbar”.




Add your comments below

Previous articleIslamic Relief bus campaign becomes major talking point
Next articleIsraeli lobby in EU funded by right-wing US groups