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'Kafeel's death can hamper investigations'

Written by: Staff

London, Aug 4: The death of Kafeel Ahmed, who allegedly rammed a burning Jeep into the Glasgow airport on June 30, could seriously handicap investigations into the abortive terror plot, sources claim.

Kafeel, who suffered 90 per cent burns, succumbed on Thursday at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 33 days after he was arrested.

Sources add that Kafeel's death may not affect the prosecution case against other suspects in Glasgow and in London, including Iraqi Dr Bilal Abdullah, Kafeel's brother Sabeel and Saudi doctor Asha Mohammad.

Investigations were on whether Kafeel was part of a cell planning attacks in Australia and the US and where and how he was converted to a terrorist.

Investigators had hoped to question Kafeel to get some vital information about Al Qaeda-linked terror operations in Britain and across the world. Sources did not elaborate why he could have been privy to any Al-Qaeda secret moves.

Police are still piecing together the background of Kafeel, who had a PhD in design and technology.

The bomb plot, anti-terror officers believe, was planned several months in advance with the vital input of Ahmed's engineering skills. This conclusion follows the information reportedly with investigators that before setting fire to himself at the airport on June 30, he had warned his family in Bangalore he was going to be working on a secret global warming project -- thought to be a reference to the airport attack.

Also, the 5,000 pound-a-day treatment to Kafeel has sparked a new row with the media raising questions whether taxpayers will have to cover the bill for the return of the body to his family in India.

British media reports claim that Kafeel's mother was flying to Glasgow and his body would be handed over to her after legal formalities, including a post-mortem.

Apparently believing that Kafeel had more information, every attempt was made to save him. Over 150,000 pounds were reportedly spent on his treatment. Officers have reportedly said they believed he could have held a ''wealth of intelligence'' about terror contacts in Britain, India and Australia -- and about the background to the alleged bomb plot.

It is alleged that Kafeel, who studied at Queen's University in Belfast between 2001 and 2004, shortly after the two car bombs packed with petrol, nails and gas cylinders failed to explode in Haymarket, had telephoned his parents in India to tell them an ''earlier presentation'' had flopped.

He asked them, ''pray for me this time.'' Last May, during his final trip to Bangalore, he told relatives: ''I am involved in a large-scale confidential project. It is about global warming. I cannot reveal the details. The project has to be started in the United Kingdom.'' In his call, hours before the airport attack, he had told his mother Dr Zakia Ahmed and sister Sadia, ''I told you earlier that some time in the future I will be inaccessible for a week. The time has come now.''


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