Pattaya Daily News

04 July 2007 :: 17:07:08 pm 30776

U.K. Bomb-Plot Suspects Were Known To Britain‘S Mi5 Spy Agency

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- Some of the doctors arrested over a terrorist plot to explode car bombs in London and attack Glasgow International Airport were already known to MI5, said an expert familiar with the workings of the U.K.‘s domestic spy agency.
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The fact that their details were already on databases explains why police issued no public appeals for information, unlike in previous terrorism investigations, and were able to round up the suspects within days. All had worked in the U.K.’s National Health Service, suggesting that Britain’s hospitals may have been penetrated by a terrorist network.

“It is my understanding that at least one of these people is on a list of 1,600 active suspects and most of the others were known to MI5,” Anthony Glees, head of the Brunel Center for Intelligence and Security, said in London late yesterday.

A police officer at Sunningdale Grove, Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, Monday July 2, 2007. Police were searching a property in Sunningdale Grove after a was man arrested late Saturday on a highway in central England following the car bomb attack at Scotland’s Glasgow airport. The man was arrested along with a 27-year-old woman when the police pulled over a car in a dramatic operation on the M6 highway in northwest England late Saturday. (AP Photo/Steve Bould/The Stoke Sentinel/PA)  . A bomb disposal team, at bottom of picture, deploy at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, Scotland, Monday, July 2, 2007. The unidentified driver of the Jeep, involved in the failed car bomb attacks at Glasgow airport which burst into flames, is being treated for serious burns at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital where he is under arrest by armed police. Staff at Royal Alexandra Hospital near Glasgow airport said one suspect was a doctor of Middle Eastern or Iraqi origin who worked there. A controlled explosion was carried out Sunday on a car left at the hospital. Police said it was linked to the airport attack. (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan/PA)

Police officers on June 29 dismantled two car bombs made from gas canisters, gasoline and nails parked in London’s theater and shopping district. A day later, two men rammed a Jeep Cherokee, filled with flammable material, into a terminal entrance at Glasgow airport. At least four doctors of Middle Eastern origin have been arrested in connection with the plot.

A total of six men and a woman have been detained in the U.K. In Australia, police were given a further 48 hours to question an eighth suspect, an Indian doctor arrested there. Mohammed Haneef, 27, who practiced at a hospital in Queensland state, was detained two days ago at Brisbane International Airport as he tried to leave the country on a one-way ticket.

His mother holds a picture of her son Mohammed Asha in Amman Jordan Monday July 2, 2007. Mohammed Asha and his wife were among those arrested by British anti-terrorism police hunting those behind attempted car bombings, a police source said on Monday. Asha qualified as a doctor in 2004 in Jordan and is also a registered medical practitioner in Britain. British media said Asha worked at a hospital in central England. (AP Photo/Mohammad abu Ghosh) British police officers patrol Waterloo train station in central London, Monday July 2, 2007. British police were sifting through large amounts of evidence from the vehicles and from video surveillance of the scenes where two car bombs failed to explode in central London on Friday and two men rammed a jeep into the Glasgow airport’s entrance the following day. Police have arrested five suspects while conducting raids across a country on its highest level of alert and are searching for others. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Haneef worked as a substitute doctor at the Halton Hospital in Runcorn, northern England, until 2005, a spokeswoman for the North Cheshire NHS Trust said yesterday. One of the men held by British police worked at the same hospital, she added.

`Critical’ Threat

“We don’t know yet whether the connection between this man and those arrested in Britain is malign,” Prime Minister John Howard told Channel Seven television today. A senior counterterrorism officer from London’s Metropolitan Police force was traveling to Australia to question Haneef, he said.

Police at Sunningdale Grove, Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, Monday July 2, 2007. Police were searching a property in Sunningdale Grove after a was man arrested late Saturday on a highway in central England following the car bomb attack at Scotland’s Glasgow airport. The man was arrested along with a 27-year-old woman when the police pulled over a car in a dramatic operation on the M6 highway in northwest England late Saturday. (AP Photo/Steve Bould/The Stoke Sentinel/PA)

 

The bombing attempts prompted U.K. authorities to raise the terrorist-threat level to “critical,” the highest.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said today that a second doctor, who like Haneef moved to Australia from the U.K., was released without charge after questioning.

Haneef began working at the Gold Coast Hospital in Queensland in September. He was given emergency leave two days ago after telling hospital officials that his wife in India was unwell, the district health service said today.

Son’s `Innocent’ ….

By Nick Allen and Ed Johnson
Read more here
To contact the reporters on this story:
Ed Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net ;
Nick Allen in London at nallen14@bloomberg.net .

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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