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UK terror plot: police hunt for the rich radicals

world Updated: Jul 09, 2007 01:37 IST
BR Srikanth
BR Srikanth
Hindustan Times
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Police in Karnataka began running a fine toothcomb through several coastal and border districts on Sunday, hunting for affluent, radical young men who could provide key links in the global investigation into the failed terror attacks in the UK.

Wire services reported from Bangalore that a computer and some CDs containing “jehadi material” had been seized from the home of Kafeel and Sabeel Ahmed, the Indian doctors alleged to be part of the plot.

“Some CDs are about the Islamic struggle in Chechnya and Iraq. We are examining the CDs for jehadi content,” an unnamed police officer was quoted as saying in the reports. “Emails sent by the brothers are also being looked into for any terror linkage.”

Hindustan Times could not independently confirm the reports.

In the UK, investigators got another week to question Sabeel. His brother and alleged co-conspirator Kafeel has been lying with 90 per cent burns at the Royal Glasgow Infirmary Hospital after being pulled out of the flaming Jeep Cherokee he and Iraqi Bilal Abdulla tried to ram into the Glasgow airport building on June 30. Hospital sources told HT they did not expect him to live.

In Australia, police searched the home of Mohammed Haneef, the Bangalore doctor held as he was about to board a flight out of the country on July 1, but didn't report significant findings. Haneef's remand ends on Monday.

In Bangalore, a top police officer who declined to be named told HT there was a "distinct possibility" that jehadi funds paid for Sabeel, Kafeel and Haneef's education abroad. "These courses are exorbitant for middle class families. We want to trace their friends who could be crucial links in the network," he said.

He added: "We have noticed a growing number of affluent young men in (coastal and border) areas (of Karnataka) and think they might be a part of the (jehadi) network. It is not as though they got rich because of high-profile jobs. In some cases, their relatives in working in West Asia have supported them with money. Most of these boys are neither employed nor have well-to-do kin, but still have an affluent lifestyle."

At a review meeting chaired by Karnataka DGP KR Srinivasan on Sunday, it emerged Dr Maqbool Ahmed, father of Kafeel and Sabeel, had been detained under MISA during the Emergency for alleged links with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

With input from agencies