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Sabeel admits he knew of attack

The Indian doc whose brother died after the failed car bombing in Britain last year, pleads guilty to withholding information about the attack, reports Vijay Dutt.
Hindustan Times | By Vijay Dutt, London
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2008 03:17 AM IST

Indian doctor Sabeel Ahmed, arrested last year for involvement in the Glasgow airport attack, pleaded guilty on Friday to withholding information that could have prevented “an act of terrorism”.

Sabeel’s brother Kafeel and an Iraqi, Abdullah Bilal, had rammed a fuel-laden Jeep Cherokee into the airport's terminal building on June 30. Kafeel, who received 90 per cent burns, died in hospital in August. Sabeel was arrested from Liverpool's Lime Street area on the day of the attack. He used to work at the Halton Hospital in Runcorn.

The 26-year-old told the Old bailey court that on June 30, Kafeel had sent him a text message directing him to an online email account containing several documents. It alerted Sabeel to a draft e-mail. In it Kafeel said he would have achieved his goal by the time the message was read. It said he had not revealed anything earlier for the safety of his brother and the “project”. He appealed to Sabeel to keep it a secret for as long as possible and to appear shocked if told of what had happened. He suggested that Sabeel tell people that Kafeel had gone to Iceland as part of a research project on global warming.

Sabeel was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment after which he will be deported.

Jonathan Laidlaw, from the prosecution, said it included instructions on how to frustrate the police. When Sabeel's Liverpool home was searched, they found his brother's laptop, which contained evidence that Sabeel had accessed the files. “He (Sabeel) failed to make the required, or any, disclosure and he had — as his plea of guilty now demonstrates — no reasonable excuse for that failing.”

The information, related to the identities of those likely to be involved in the attack, would have been of “considerable assistance”. “At that time, when he was passed the information, the defendant could not have known, of course, conclusively, whether all those involved had been detained by the authorities, or whether they were free to continue with their terrorist activity," said Laidlaw.

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