July 15, 2005

UK bomb suspect arrested in Egypt -report

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - An Egyptian chemistry student who may
have been involved in last week's London bombings is understood
to have been arrested in Cairo, a British police source said on

U.S.-trained Magdy Elnashar, 33, was wanted for questioning
over the bomb attacks that killed at least 54 people and
injured 700. Media reports said he had left Britain two weeks
before Western Europe's first ever suicide bomb attack.

British newspapers said the chemist had rented one of the
houses in the northern English city of Leeds that was raided by
police on Tuesday. Large amounts of suspected explosives were

"I can confirm that a man has been arrested in Cairo," the
source told Reuters, saying it was understood to be Elnashar.

The investigation took on a rapidly widening international
dimension with Pakistani intelligence sources saying one of the
bombers met in 2003 with a man later arrested for bombing a
church in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Pakistani security agencies are investigating possible
links between militant groups based in Pakistan and Shehzad
Tanweer, a Briton of ethnic-Pakistani origin who was one of
four bombers in the July 7 attack on three trains and a bus.

London police chief Ian Blair said detectives are confident
they will find an al Qaeda link to the British bombers.

Warning that another attack is "a strong possibility,"
Blair said the hunt is now on for the financiers and bomb
makers who supplied the young killers in London's deadliest
peacetime bomb attack.

Three of the four British-born Muslims, the youngest only
18, came from Leeds.

Media reports that the explosives found there were similar
to those used in other al Qaeda-linked attacks were described
by Blair as "a reasonably fair picture."

Blair also said it was time for Muslim leaders in Britain
to stop being in denial about "lunatic fringe" extremists who
convert impressionable youngsters.

"What we expect to find at some stage is that there is a
clear al Qaeda link, a clear al Qaeda approach," Blair told BBC

Describing the bombers who died in the blast as "foot
soldiers," Blair said: "What we have got to find is who
encouraged them, who trained them, who is the chemist."

The BBC, citing sources close to the investigation, said
the explosive found in Leeds was TATP (triacetone triperoxide),
made from freely available ingredients.

It said the material is thought to be similar to that used
by British "shoe bomber" Richard Reid who tried to blow up a
transatlantic flight in 2001 with explosives in his shoes.

Police admit they are puzzled about the last 81 minutes in
the life of one of the bombers, Hasib Hussain, captured on
grainy CCTV images.

At 7:20 a.m. he was caught on film at Luton station, north
of London, wearing a casual jacket and jeans with a bomb in the
rucksack on his back. He was seen joking with the three other
bombers who then went on to target underground trains.

Police are still baffled about why he may have changed his
original target and instead blew up a bus.