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UK failed terror plot: all fingers point to Al-Qaeda

Sources say it was planned by Al-Qaeda followers in United Kingdom with Bin Laden’s blessing, reports Vijay Dutt.
Hindustan Times | By Vijay Dutt, London
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2007 11:24 AM IST

All signs point to an Al-Qaeda hand in the London and Glasgow failed bombing plots. Information supplied to MI5 and MI6, reportedly by a "foreign" intelligence agency, blamed the international terrorist group for the sensational incidents that have rocked the United Kingdom.

"It was an established fact from Day 1 that Al-Qaeda was behind this and it was planned by its followers in Great Britain with (Osama) bin Laden’s blessing," The Times, quoting sources, reported.

Experts said the warning an Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq delivered to Canon Andrew White, a British cleric working in Baghdad in April, certainly suggested that he knew of the doctors’ plot. "Those who cure you will kill you," the warning said.

Paul Beaver, an internationally known security expert, told the Hindustan Times, "In some ways it looks like that (Al-Qaeda) involvement. We have to remember that Al-Qaeda does not act and behave in the traditional way of terrorist or radical groups. These doctors would surely not be members of the group but look-alikes trying to emulate Al-Qaeda’s terror methods."

"On the basis of what happened, it is clear that they (doctors) possibly consulted some Al-Qaeda people. They were certainly inspired by them," Beaver said. MI5 and MI6 while investigating the role of Al-Qaeda cells in Iraq began to build up a picture of the foreign contacts of those involved in the plot to bomb London and Glasgow.

As police in London continued to question eight suspects -- five from West Asia and three believed to be from India -- security and intelligence agencies were focusing on their international links, counter-terrorism officials said.

CNN reported that police had found a suicide note on one of the two men accused of trying to bomb Glasgow airport on Saturday. Investigations are focused on "who knew what where", a security source said. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq is probably in the frame."

A quarterly intelligence report prepared in April by the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre (JTAC) in London had warned that while there was "no indication" of a specific threat to Britain, "we are aware that AQ-I (Al Qaeda in Iraq) networks are active in the UK". JTAC also highlighted the determination of Abd Al-Hadi, accused by US authorities of being Osama bin Laden’s emissary to the Al Qaeda in Iraq, to launch a terrorist attack in the UK.

Scotland Yard detectives, meanwhile, are trying to establish how many of the suspects came together in Cambridge. Bilal Abdulla, said to be the kingpin behind the failed bombing plots, studied English in Cambridge before moving to Paisley.

Mohammed Jamil Asha, a Jordanian doctor who was arrested on the M6 (motorway) with his wife, was training at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge at the same time. The police are also making inquiries in the city about Kafeel Ahmed when the Glasgow car bomb failed to explode. He is believed to be the brother of Sabeel Ahmed.

The other suspect, Kafeel Ahmed, who went with Dr Abdulla in the jeep to Glasgow airport, is considered another key figure. But, being critically ill in the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley, his true role and identity remain unclear. He was originally believed to be a doctor working at a hospital in Liverpool with Sabeel Ahmed.

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