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UK Terror Plot
Sabeel, Haneef charged
Natasha Chaku and H. Seetharama Rao

Melbourne, July 14
A fortnight after they were detained, two Indian doctors from Bangalore were charged today in Britain and Australia for terrorism offences in connection with the failed car bomb attacks in the UK.

Sabeel Ahmed (26) was charged by the London Metropolitan Police with having information that could prevent an act of terrorism, hours after Mohammad Haneef (27) was charged by the Australian Federal Police with providing “reckless” support to a terrorist organisation.

Sabeel, who is a second cousin of Haneef, was detained in Liverpool on June 30 and will appear in court on Monday, the London police said in a statement.

In Haneef’s case, the police said the support was given without intent and his alleged offence carries a maximum 15-year jail term dashing hopes of his release after being held without charge for 12 days. He was detained on July 2 while attempting to leave Australia on a one-way ticket.

Three persons have been so far charged in last month’s botched car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdulla, who was the passenger of the jeep allegedly driven by Sabeel’s brother Kafeel Ahmed, was the first suspect to be charged last week with conspiring to cause explosions in Britain.

Scotland Yard said Sabeel, charged under the Terrorism Act, is accused of having information that could have helped the police prevent another person committing an act of terrorism or arrest and prosecute them for terrorism offences. Regarding Haneef, Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said “the specific allegation regards recklessness rather than intention was about some of the support he provided to that (UK) group, in particular the provision of his SIM card for the use of the group.”

Eight people were detained immediately after the failed car bombings; one of them, the only woman, was freed on Thursday.

The ninth suspect Kafeel, who allegedly drove a blazing explosives-laden jeep into the Glasgow airport, is battling for life in a London hospital.

Haneef was charged early Saturday after being questioned in hour-long blocks through Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning, his lawyer Peter Russo told reporters in Brisbane. Russo said his client was extremely upset by the charge.

In Haneef’s case, the police had yesterday decided not to seek extension of the detention of the 27-year-old Gold Coast Hospital Registrar, raising hopes that he may be released. — PTI

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