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London suicide bombers made phone calls to Pak

A London suicide bomber made numerous calls to a mobile phone in Pak, the last contact being just 3 days before the attacks.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2005 19:34 IST

One of the four London suicide bombers made numerous calls to a stolen mobile phone in Pakistan with the last contact coming as late as on July 4, just three days before the attacks, a media report said on Sunday.

Pakistani officials have traced the phone after receiving requests from Britain's internal intelligence agency MI5, who suspect it was used by terrorists linked to the bombers, and then discarded after the attacks, it said.

The number was rung several times "as late as on July 4" by Shehzad Tanweer, one of the bombers who visited Pakistan more than six months ago along with Mohammad Siddique Khan, the terrorist cell's suspected ring-leader.

The disclosure has deepened suspicions that a "mastermind" based abroad was guiding the gang, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

According to the report, Pakistan is considered vital to the investigation into the London attacks. Last weekend the same newspaper had claimed that MI5 officers suspect that a video message of Siddique Khan was recorded in Pakistan, possibly with the help of Al-Qaeda.

Security officers also suspect that Khan and Tanweer may have received advice on bomb making at a training camp in Pakistan or in Afghanistan.

Pakistani intelligence officers have found that the phone originally belonged to a tailor in Sukkur in Sindh province, but fell into criminals' hands. It has not been used since the London attacks.

British Government officials refused to confirm details of the MI5 request for "operational reasons", but conceded that mobile phone calls, including some made abroad, were now central to the investigation.

First Published: Sep 11, 2005 19:33 IST