These are the men we're meant to be afraid of?
Some officers could then be heard shouting to the suspects to strip to their underwear, walk out of the flat, turn into the corridor, and then stop. Officers could clearly be heard addressing the suspects as "Muhammad" and "Mr Ahmed".
Towards the end of the siege they could be heard demanding why one of the men would not come out of the building. He shouted back: "I'm scared. How do I know you won't shoot me?"
In a reply which apparently referred to the shooting of an innocent man a week earlier, one officer is said by witnesses to have shouted in reply: "That was a mistake."
Police said that neither man wanted to leave the building, but, a Scotland Yard source said: "In the end there was so much gas in there that they had no choice."
Eventually, both men could be seen being led away to police vehicles, wearing white paper overalls and gloves, their faces hidden behind boards held aloft by detectives.
We've been told on numerous occasions that Islamic fundamentalists love death as much as we love life. We've been told that these terrorists are cold-blooded, that they care nothing about the innocent blood they spill. We've been told of the ever-changing number of virgins they'll receive when they reach heaven after their martyrdom here on Earth. Instead, we have pictures of two incredibly frightened men stripped naked on a balcony, spitting and cowering. One was too afraid to come out because he thought he would be shot like Jean Charles de Menezes. Inevitably, the fact all four (or five, they now seem to think there was a fifth bomber) have been arrested alive and well raises questions about their level of loyalty or their plans to be suicide bombers at all. You would have expected dedicated suicide attackers to kill themselves if their plans failed. At least one of the bombers left his device on the bus, so he obviously was not intending to be a suicide attacker. Were the rest transporting their bombs elsewhere or going to leave them on the underground before making good their escape? Did they only flee in panic when the bombs detonated prematurely and failed? All these questions will help identify whether these men really were Islamic terrorists or simply some kind of copycats or amateurs.
Along with this we should remember that the government and opposition parties are still talks over new terrorism laws. "Sir" Ian Blair tried to make the idea of terrorist suspects being detained and questioned without charge for up to 3 months sound better by saying it would have to be renewed by a judge every 14 days. There's not many judges who are going to disagree with keeping someone in custody if police say they are damage to themselves or to the public, whether it's true or not. A good comment piece on some of the draconian measures which the police want to be brought in is here.
Finally, if you're here in the UK, desperate times call for desperate measures. It really probably is time to join Liberty. Membership is only £8 if you're unwaged, which is a small price to pay to try protect our greater freedoms.