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Airport attack unplanned, desperate

world Updated: Jul 09, 2007 02:01 IST
Vijay Dutt

As Kafeel Ahmed, who allegedly drove the jeep that tried to crash into the Glasgow airport terminal on June 30, battles for his life at the Royal Glasgow Infirmay, police investigating the crime have concluded that the aborted attack was a last-minute decision following the failure of the plot to cause lethal explosions in London.

Once they learnt that their mobile phones which should have detonated the explosives had been recovered intact by the police, Ahmed and Bilal Abdulla, who was formally charged on Saturday realised it was only a matter of time before they were caught.

Media reports claimed that the mobile phones the police have obtained contain vital information. It is speculated that even if they escaped arrest, they could have been targeted by fellow extremists for having given away incriminating evidence. Hence, the desperate and relatively unplanned assault on the airport.

“Clearly, they didn’t succeed and it looks on the surface like they made some elementary mistakes,” said a security expert. “But look at the calibre of the suspects, look at the planning, the resources, even the timing. This was a considerable operation.”

The suspicion of the Al Qaeda's involvement in the attacks has British security agencies extremely apprehensive. Former MI 5 chief Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller said anything could happen next. “They may attempt a chemical, biological, radiological or even nuclear attack,” she said.

Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command SO15 is understood to have uncovered evidence that in the months leading up to the attacks, one or more of the suspects communicated by telephone or e-mail with terrorist leaders in Iraq.