Police Apologize for Fake Terrorist Shouting 'Allahu Akbar' During Drill
Police in Manchester, England, have apologized for a counter-terror training drill in which a fake suicide bomber shouted "Allahu Akbar."
The simulated attack took place Monday night at the city's Trafford Centre. A man dressed in black walked into the building's food court and shouted the Arabic phrase, which means "God is great," at the crowd.
Seconds later, an explosion went off, following by simulated gunshots, as hundreds of volunteers, wearing safety glasses and hearing protection headgear, dropped to the floor and took cover.
Critics quickly used social media to complain that the depiction of the terrorist stereotyped Muslims.
This sort of thing panders to stereotypes and further divides us. It will increase anti-Muslim hate crime. https://t.co/DHeTiU1oVT
— CommunitySafetyForum (@CSFUK) May 10, 2016
— Ilyas Nagdee (@ilyas_nagdee) May 10, 2016
Good question. We need to move away from stereotypes if we want to achieve Real learning. A terrorist can be any one https://t.co/vQ3thEGGGn
— Dr Erinma Bell MBE (@ErinmaBell) May 10, 2016
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan responded to the complaints on Twitter, saying the use of the phrase "Allahu Akbar" was unacceptable and that the suicide bomber should not have been "linked to Islam."
He later released a statement:
For the past 24 hours 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 outside the shopping centre.
It is necessary 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.
The scenario for this exercise is based on a suicide attack by extremist Daesh style organization 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 to Islam. We recognize and apologise for the offence this has caused.
The Outnumbered hosts agreed that if actual Islamic terrorists have screamed this phrase before an attack, then there is no apology needed.
"What are they apologizing for? It's exactly what the reality apparently is," said Julie Roginsky,
Scott Baio noted that police can't say "Allahu Akbar" in an effort to stop terror, but groups like ISIS can behead people and kill children.
"What universe are we living in?! In my opinion, ya gotta stop kissing butt and start kicking butt. We can't do this anymore. These people wanna kill us," he said, adding that he catches himself "looking around" for possible threats when he's in a mall with his family.
Kimberly Guilfoyle said she sees this as another example of "political correctness making us less safe."
Watch the discussion above.