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London says deadly force policy to continue with minor changes
LONDON -- London's Metropolitan Police said Saturday the department has reviewed the use of deadly force against suspected terrorists but has made only minor changes.
The police also said they had offered a $26,950 payment to the family of the Brazilian man who was killed but stressed it "does not inhibit any future claim that the family may have against the Metropolitan Police Service."
Separately, a newspaper reported that Scotland Yard believes it foiled a potential al-Qaida gas attack on British parliament.
The plot to unleash deadly nerve gas sarin on Britain's House of Commons was hatched last year and uncovered through coded e-mails on computers seized from terror suspects in Britain and Pakistan, the Sunday Times newspaper said, citing an internal police document it obtained.
Metropolitan Police refused to comment on the report.
The review of the deadly force policy followed the July 22 killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, who was wrongly suspected of being a suicide terrorist.
"The police have reviewed the strategy and we have made one or two small changes, but the operation remains essentially the same," a police spokeswoman said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of department policy.
She declined to discuss details of the changes in Operation Kratos, the force's name for the policy.
Police denied a report that they had offered $1 million in compensation to the Menezes family.
A report in Saturday's editions of The Daily Mail said a senior officer had made an initial offer of compensation during a visit to Brazil two weeks ago.
"We will not be bought off. We will not be silenced," the man's parents, Matozinho and Maria de Menezes, said, according to the newspaper.
However, police said they had offered a $26,950 to the Menezes' family.
"The letter is very specific that this sum does not inhibit any future claim that the family may have against the Metropolitan Police Service and this point was reiterated at the meeting with the family in Brazil," the force said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Britain's top security official, Home Secretary Charles Clarke who is responsible for policing, said Saturday he had full confidence in London police commissioner Sir Ian Blair.
"I am very happy with the conduct, not only of Sir Ian Blair, but the whole Metropolitan Police in relation to the inquiry," Clarke told British Broadcasting Corp., a day after Menezes' cousin Alessandro Pereira called for Blair's resignation over the shooting death.
Blair, who apologized for the mistaken killing, has denied any police cover-up or attempt to block the Independent Police Complaints Commission's investigation now under way.
Recently leaked documents from the official complaints commission investigation into Menezes' killing appear to contradict original statements by police that the Brazilian had been behaving suspiciously.
A newspaper report also said the official level of threat to Britain from terrorist attack had been lowered for the first time since the July 7 bombings, which killed 52 commuters and the four attackers.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that intelligence officials had reduced the threat level from the highest rating of "critical" down to "severe general" because there was no specific intelligence of an imminent repeat of attacks.