Bangalore police hunt British bomb suspects


Mon, Jul 09, 2007 - Page 5

Police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, home to three suspects held in the British bomb plot, are hunting 12 more people who may be linked to the conspiracy, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Police studied the database at the transport office in the middle-class district of Jayanagar from where they had earlier discovered the driving license details of a man who rammed a flaming car into Glasgow airport on June 30, the Sunday Times said.

The newspaper said the police were interested in a man it named as Saleem Ahmed, adding investigators were also probing the possibility that fake Bangalore driving licenses were used in the bomb plot.

Three Indians have been arrested in connection with the foiled car bombings in London and Glasgow and they all hailed from Bangalore, India's software capital.

They have been identified as Sabeel Ahmed, a doctor, and his brother Kafeel Ahmed, an aeronautical engineer and suspected to be one of the two men who drove the blazing car into Glasgow airport.

The third has been identified as Mohammed Haneef, a doctor who worked at a hospital in Australia's Gold Coast where he relocated from Britain last year. He was held as he attempted to leave the country for India on a one-way ticket.

Kafeel Ahmed began researching bomb-making techniques weeks before he travelled to Britain on May 5, the Hindu newspaper reported yesterday, citing unnamed intelligence sources with records of his Internet activity.

Soon after reaching Britain, he acquired the components used to assemble the explosives fitted into the cars that had been intended to explode in central London, the newspaper said.

Findings by investigators suggest that Kafeel Ahmed acted without training or material assistance from organized groups, it said, adding the police had found no evidence of him being linked to Muslim militant organizations.

Kafeel Ahmed went to Britain for the supposed purpose of completing his doctoral work in computational fluid dynamics, which involves study of the movement of fluids and gases over objects like aircraft, the Hindu said.

He had a Masters of Philosophy degree in aeronautical engineering from Belfast's Queen's University but his doctoral work had been delayed because of his refusal to take an educational loan on grounds that it was against Islamic principles, the paper said.

Kafeel Ahmed was at the wheel of the jeep which slammed into Glasgow airport terminal packed with nails and gas canisters. The botched attack came after two failed car bombs in central London.