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First suspect in court over Britain car bomb plot

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) An Iraqi-trained doctor today appeared in a London court in connection with failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

Bilal Abdulla, 27, was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions. Dressed in a white sweatshirt, he spoke only to confirm his name and address.

No bail was applied for and he will reappear at London's Old Bailey criminal court on July 27.

Abdulla is the first person to be charged over the suspected al Qaeda-linked plot in which eight Middle Eastern and Indian medics have been arrested, seven in Britain and one in Australia.

Later today police were granted an extra seven days to question five of the suspects who are being held in London.

Abdulla was arrested after a jeep crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport last Saturday.

The father of another suspect, Kafeel Ahmed, 27, told the Times of India today he had identified his son from television coverage.

Ahmed has been in hospital with critical burns since the Glasgow attack - witnesses say he set both himself and the crashed vehicles on fire.

''When we saw the footage of a person being carried to the hospital, followed by the blast and the police suspecting him to be the suicide bomber, we identified that he was our son,'' their father Maqbool Ahmed told the paper from Bangalore.

Kafeel's brother Sabeel, 26, was arrested in Liverpool, northwest England, later the same evening.

His father said Sabeel had been allowed by British police to call him every day since his arrest.

''Sabeel said he was treated well by the police and he has been cooperating with them,'' Ahmed said.

''We enquired about Kafeel but he refused to speak about him or give any details,'' Ahmed added.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday that investigations were ''getting to the bottom'' of the cell behind the failed bombings.

Two car bombs primed to explode in London's bustling theatre and nightclub district were discovered the day before the Glasgow attack.

Although the London and Scottish attacks failed, they posed a test of nerve for Brown's new government in the first week after he replaced Tony Blair on June 27.

For four days, security officials raised Britain's national threat warning to its highest level, before lowering it one notch on Wednesday.

Leaders from the Muslim community held a closed-door meeting in London today to discuss a new declaration on tackling Islamic extremism and terrorism in Britain.

It was organised by the Muslim Council of Britain which said it wanted to send a clear message that ordinary Muslims opposed terrorism.

Earlier survivors and relatives of victims of four suicide bombers on the London transport system that killed 52 commuters and injured hundreds more on July 7, 2005 held a quiet ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the attacks.

REUTERS SZ SBA RAI0110

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