WHENÂ Shaheen HasmatÂ and his family arrived in Australia from Afghanistan as refugees five years ago, the year 8 student knew only a few words in English, like yes and no…
Update:Â Shaheen replies
Doctor guilty of car bomb attacks
The good doctor on the day of his grand jihad
An NHS doctor has been convicted of plotting to bring chaos and murder to London and Glasgow Airport by setting off massive car bombs.
A jury at Woolwich Crown Court found Bilal Abdulla guilty of plotting the home-made bomb attacks in 2007.
Another NHS doctor, Mohammed Asha, was cleared of helping Abdulla and a second attacker, Kafeel Ahmed.
Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the jury the men had been intent on “committing murder on an indiscriminate and wholesale scale” in attacks that would occur without warning, spreading panic among the public.
Abdulla will be sentenced on Wednesday. Meanwhile, lawyers for Dr Asha said he had been served with deportation papers – but would fight to remain in the UK and rebuild his medical career.
‘Kill and maim’
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was “pleased” with the conviction.
“The attack on Glasgow Airport and the planned bomb in central London sought to kill and maim through attacks of an indiscriminate nature,” she said.
“This conviction underlines again the serious and sustained threat we face in the UK from terrorism – which is a threat we must face and deal with together.”
The first attack involved two failed car bombs left in London’s West End. Then a burning Jeep filled with gas canisters was driven into Glasgow Airport on its busiest day of the year.
In each case, said prosecutors, it was good fortune alone that there had been no loss of innocent life.
Abdulla, an Iraqi who was born in the UK, was one of two bombers along with Kafeel Ahmed. The 29-year-old was arrested near the Jeep at Glasgow Airport terminal building.
‘Poverty breeds terrorism’ myth debunked again:Â Glasgow airport bomb plotter Bilal Abdulla was born in Britain as the eldest son of a privileged Iraqi family but he turned on Britain, the country he professed to love.
Indian-born PhD aeronautical engineering student Ahmed, 28, suffered serious burns and died five weeks later.
Detectives believe the Glasgow attack was a suicide bomb attempt on holidaymakers in the wake of the two botched attacks on London.
Abdulla admitted in court that he was “a terrorist” as defined by English law. He went on to say he believed the British government and Army could equally be accused of terrorism for their actions in Iraq.
But he added he had wanted to frighten people rather than murder them.
At the time of the attacks he was a junior doctor at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
The jury at Woolwich Crown Court found Abdulla guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions. He faces a life sentence but showed no reaction as the jury’s verdict was read out.
Investigators said they had been shocked to learn of Abdulla’s responsible, health sector background.
One senior detective added: “Just the whole idea of people who take the Hippocratic oath who then go on to wantonly seek to destroy human life in the most horrific way imaginable, that is what I find shocking.”
Dr Asha, 28, a neurologist at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, admitted knowing the two bombers but denied any knowledge of their attacks. He was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.
Â It was more luck than judgement that their repeated attempts to detonate the two car bombs by mobile phone failedÂ
Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner
He leaned back in his seat, his hands clasped behind his neck in apparent relief as the verdict was read out. Before Dr Asha left the dock the two men embraced and shook hands.
Jim Sturman QC, for Abdulla, said his crimes were motivated by politics, not religion.
“This is not a case where his intention was driven by religious faith but by his frustration with what he saw as an unjust war,” he said.
The barrister said his client needed time “to allow the consequences of conviction to sink in”.
Speaking after the trial, Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Karen Jones said: “If you are planning to scare people you do not pack cars with petrol, gas and nails.
“If the cars had blown up those nails would not only have killed people but maimed others for life.”
Tory MP and security expert Patrick Mercer said it was wrong to call the attacks “amateurish” and said Britain was vulnerable to similar incidents.
“These sort of attacks are relatively easily put together. The materials are relatively easily obtained.
“Whilst we have seen highly sophisticated attacks in places like Mumbai in recent weeks, we are still highly vulnerable to the lower end of the lower scale of these sort of attacks being put together without very much central guidance from core al-Qaeda operatives.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall, a national counter terrorism co-ordinator at the Metropolitan Police, said he believed the London bombs were to have been the first in a series of similar attacks.
“Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed had at least two other vehicles and further supplies of gas, petrol and other items for constructing bombs,” he said.
“It was more luck than judgement that their repeated attempts to detonate the two car bombs by mobile phone failed.”
Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House said he was “delighted” with the result and grateful for the “solid ties” between the force, community leaders and the area’s ethnic minority communities.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, paid tribute to the bravery of airport workers, passengers and the emergency services.Â
Â We know that there are many doctors who’ve been at the forefront of taking lives–not saving them–in the name of the “Religion of Peace”:
* Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri–Al-Qaeda mastermind and number two man, reportedly a surgeon and/or psychiatrist;* Dr. Mohammad Rabi Al-Zawahiri–Ayman’s father and a Muslim Brotherhood enthusiast, pharmacologist and professor at Ain Shams Medical School;
* Dr. “Abu Hafiza”–Al-Qaeda master planner who was the brains and commander of the Moroccan cell that provided logistics for the 9/11 attacks, and he recruited Qaeda insurgents for battles in Fallujah, Moroccan psychiatrist;
* Dr. Abdel Aziz Al-Rantisi–Late HAMAS leader, pediatrician;
* Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar–HAMAS co-founder and leader, surgeon and lecturer at the Islamic University in Gaza;
* Dr. Fathi Abd Al-Aziz Shiqaqi–Late founder of Islamic Jihad and active in Fatah, physician.
And there are other issues, such as infectious disease. We are no seeing cases in Britain in which some Muslim doctors refuse to wash their hands with alcohol-based disinfectant, per the Muslim prohibition on alcohol consumption.
The terrorist in a doctor’s coat: Iraqi who infiltrated the NHS is guilty of bungled bomb plot
ByÂ David Williams,Â Michael SeamarkÂ andÂ Emily Andrews
Last updated at 11:26 PM on 16th December 2008
A British-born Iraqi doctor who infiltrated the NHS has been convicted of the bungled Baghdad-style car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.Â
After Bilal Abdulla was found guilty, Scotland Yard’s anti-terror chief warned that a new breed of Islamic extremist is targeting Britain while working here in respectable professional jobs.
Abdulla is believed to have been sent to the UK as a ‘sleeper’ to form an Iraqi terror cell to bring carnage to the streets with a series of massive car bombings in June 2007.
Guilty: Bilal Abdulla (left). Not guilty: Mohammed Asha
It was reported that he had been in Baghdad on the first night of the Allied ‘shock and awe’ bombardment of the Iraqi capital in 2003 and had been seething with hatred for Britain ever since.Â
Inspired by the former head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abdulla recruited Indian engineering PhD Kafeel Ahmed when the men met at an Islamic group in Cambridge and began plotting a series of ‘spectaculars’.Â
A CCTV of the scene at Glasgow Airport after the car bomb attack just 24 hours after the attempted London bombing
While at Cambridge the men had ‘crossed the radar’ of MI5 who were monitoring the activities of another suspect, but they were not considered a priority.Â
Abdulla, 29, was also on the ‘radar’ of Western intelligence in Iraq because of his links to insurgents, but any concerns were not passed to Britain.Â
While in Baghdad early in 2006, Abdulla is said to have spoken of his desire to take part in martyrdom operations and to have worked for an insurgent group, procuring guns and explosives.Â
Attack: The jeep on fire at Glasgow Airport
Today he was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of conspiracy to cause murder with a suicide attack on Glasgow airport and explode remote-controlled car bombs in London’s West End. He will be sentenced tomorrow.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall, head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, said the discovery that the key suspects were doctors had shocked detectives.Â
Wreck: The burnt-out shell of the Jeep Cherokee used in a terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport
‘These individuals were not on our radar,’ he said. ‘They are very different from the profiles of terrorists we have dealt with in this country beforeÂ -Â being professional people.Â
‘I find it bizarre that people who have trained as doctors can seek to take life in such a cruel way.’
A second member of what was branded the ‘NHS terror cell’, Jordanian neurologist Mohammed Asha, 28, was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.Â
Items at a suspected terrorist bomb factory occupied by Billal in the town of Houston, near Glasgow
It was precisely because he was a doctor and would not attract suspicion that Abdulla is believed to have been chosen to spearhead attacks on mainland Britain.Â
Abdulla, who was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, admitted in court that he was a terrorist as defined by English law but added that he believed the British Government and Army could equally be accused of terrorism for their actions in Iraq.
The Mercedes car in The Haymarket in central London which is cordoned off as police officers investigate a viable explosive device
Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, told the jury that Abdulla and Ahmed had been intent on ‘ committing murder on an indiscriminate and wholesale scale’ in attacks that would occur without warning, spreading panic among the public.Â
The first target was Saturday night revellers at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Haymarket in central London. Two Mercedes saloons loaded with gas cylinders, petrol and nails were primed to go off, triggered by mobile phone detonators.
Tools of the trade: A table scattered with objects in the house used to construct the bombs
When these failed, the men drove a Jeep loaded with a similar deadly cargo into Glasgow airport in a suicide attack on the crowded building. Again the device failed to explode, but the vehicle caught fire and Ahmed suffered 90 per cent burns, dying later in hospital.Â
Abdulla left a will, addressed to Osama Bin Laden, in which he made clear he wanted to kill British and American soldiers and was willing to target women and children.Â
The document spoke of his thirst to ‘lick the blood’ of Westerners and attack the ‘Kingdom of Evil’.