Indian-trained doctor arrested in links with UK bombing


Sydney : A tip from British detectives investigating botched car bombings in London and Glasgow has resulted in the arrest of an Indian-trained doctor as he tried to leave Australia on a one-way ticket, officials said Tuesday.

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The 27-year-old, an intern in India before moving to the northern English city of Liverpool, began work as a registrar in a Queensland hospital 10 months ago.

He became the eighth terrorism suspect held in the sweep that followed the failed car bombings. Five are believed to be either doctors or medical students, and none were believed to be British nationals.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock said a foreign national working at the Gold Coast hospital in Southport was arrested Monday night at Brisbane airport while trying to leave the country.

He said another Liverpool-trained doctor working in Queensland was being questioned and that search warrants had been executed at the Gold Coast Hospital and other locations in Queensland.

Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the 27-year-old, identified by British police with the initial H, was not on any Australian watch list.

He stressed that no charges had been laid against either doctor and that Australia's alert level had not been raised for fear of an imminent terrorist attack.

The other doctors arrested are Mohammed al-Asha, 26, a Jordanian neurologist who worked at a hospital in Stoke-on-Trent in central Britain, and Bilal Abdullah, 27, of Iraq, who worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Scotland, not far from the Glasgow Airport targeted Saturday.

The other possible medical connections were two men, aged 28 and 25, who were arrested Monday on the campus of the Royal Alexandra Hospital. It was not clear if they were medical professionals.

Royal Alexandra Hospital was also the scene of two controlled explosions by police since Sunday to defuse suspicious vehicles and objects. Police cordoned off doctors' living quarters there on Monday.

Abdullah was one of two men who survived after trying to drive a blazing jeep into Glasgow airport. Police, using evidence found in two unexploded Mercedes car bombs in London on Friday, have said the London and Glasgow plots were linked.

The other man in the jeep suffered severe burns.

Al-Asha along with his wife was arrested Saturday during a motorway hunt in Cheshire, northern England, while travelling with their two-year-old son.