More arrests made in British car-bomb attacks
British authorities work to break up terror cell with possible links to Al Qaeda.
On Monday, the British police said they'd arrested two more men in connection with the failed car bombs in London and Glasgow, bringing the total number of suspects in custody to seven.Skip to next paragraph
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There was also evidence that the authorities were hot on the trail of the two men who tried to attack Glasgow's main airport on Saturday, following arrests made earlier in the week after the London attack.
Rental agent Daniel Gardiner, whose company leased a Glasgow-area home searched by police, said authorities contacted his firm just ahead of Saturday's airport attack, reports The Associated Press.
"A card was put through one of my colleague's door, asking if we would contact them," he said. The colleague found the note at 3:05 p.m, 10 minutes before the airport attack, Gardiner said. "A couple of hours later, they (police) came back to us with a name, and we were able to trace their
records," he said. "The police wanted to know why we had dialed a certain phone number. They had the phone records from the situation down in London."
Unlike the men who attacked London on July 7, 2005 who were mostly British citizens of Pakistani descent, there was growing evidence that the men alleged to be involved in the latest plot were Middle Eastern Muslims living and working in the Britain, Agence France-Presse reports.
One of the suspects arrested in Britain by police investigating three failed car bombings is a Jordanian doctor called Mohammed Jamil Abdelkader Asha, officials in Jordan said on Monday.
The New York Times reports that a second suspect is also a medical doctor, an ethnic Kurd from Iran (many Iranian Kurds are Sunni Muslims and opposed to the Iranian state), and says there is growing skepticism that the group has strong links to Al Qaeda.
The detainee arrested over the weekend in Staffordshire was a medical doctor of Iranian-Kurdish descent, according to two people with knowledge of the police inquiry.
One of those people, and a BBC report, identified him as Mohammed Asha, 26, and a newspaper, The Sun, said he worked at North Staffordshire hospital near the Midlands town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, where the police searched a house on Sunday.
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 on Saturday.
Despite the British government's assertions of a link to Al Qaeda, it presented no evidence of connections to Al Qaeda operatives or those who derive inspiration from the group.
British intelligence agencies had warned the government last April that terrorist attacks might be initiated by Iranian Kurds to coincide with the end of Prime Minister Tony Blair's term of office, according to a person who saw the warning.
The Guardian newspaper reports that none of the first five men arrested in the probe was born in Britain, and said that police were targeting a cell of about eight people as involved in the attacks.
Police and the security services are still hunting for at least three members of an al-Qaida linked terrorist cell suspected of attempting to commit mass murder using car bombs in London and Glasgow. Counter-terrorism officers believe the cell has at least eight members, linked by a controlling "Mr Big".
The incidents were linked after a strong forensic connection was found between the Jeep rammed into the terminal at Glasgow airport and two Mercedes car bombs found in London. The Jeep was packed with petrol and gas canisters similar to those found in the London vehicles, which also contained nails. Counter-terrorist sources indicated that the link was much broader and that the individuals suspected of involvement in the London and Glasgow terrorist acts were connected.