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On 22 July 2005, when Patricia da Silva learned that police marksman had killed a man at Stockwell tube station in London, she had no reason to second-guess news reports describing the dead man as a terrorist.
The capital was on high alert. Two weeks earlier a series of bomb attacks killed 52 people and injured hundreds more. Then on 21 July 2005, four men targeted the capital’s transport network in a carbon-copy attack. This time, the terrorists’ bombs failed to explode and they fled.
So less than two hours after that failed attack, when Patricia left for work, she knew from news reports that police were in a race against time to catch the bombers.
She had absolutely no idea that the block of flats where she lived on Scotia Road in Tulse Hill was already under intense surveillance and had been linked by police to one of the terrorists, Hussein Osman, the target of the police shooting in Stockwell.
Critically, Scotia Road was much more than a location of police interest, it was home to Patricia and her cousin Jean Charles de Menezes, who was an electrician and also from Brazil.
On that morning, when Patricia learned of the shooting, she couldn’t have imagined that a catastrophic chain of events had already cost Jean Charles his life.
This is episode 18 of the 21-part series StoryCast ’21. And for more on this story go to www.skynews/storycast21
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