Glasgow Bombing Suspect Kafeel Succumbs To Burns

by Ann Samuel on Aug 3 2007 3:58 PM

Kafeel Ahmed, an Indian doctor and key accused in the failed UK bomb plots, is dead.

He succumbed to the burns he had sustained when he drove an explosive-laden vehicle into the Glasgow terminal in June last.

The Kafeel saga is now over. The Indian doctor has succumbed to the burns he had sustained when he rammed an explosives-laden jeep into the Glasgow airport terminal on June 30, setting off a worldwide sensation. He had sustained 90 per cent burns at Glasgow, it may be recalled.

"We can confirm that the man seriously injured during the course of the incident at Glasgow airport on Saturday June 30 has died in Glasgow Royal Infirmary," a police spokesman said Thursday night.

"The man died earlier this evening and the circumstances surrounding the death have been reported to the procurator fiscal," the spokesman added.

The image of a man held down firmly by a posse of cops near a barricade was endlessly flashed across TV channels all over the world, minutes after the confirmation of the death of Kafeel.

The Glasgow airport attack came the day after bungled bombing attempts in London, when two cars packed with gas canisters and nails were left in the city center, one outside a popular nightclub and the other near Trafalgar Square.

But mercifully both the cars failed to explode.

At least one bomb was to have been detonated by a mobile phone, which the police recovered.

The UK government said the two incidents were part of an Al Qaeda plot and Britain's security alert was raised to "critical", its highest level, for several days.

It posed an early challenge for Gordon Brown, who had succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister just days before.

Three male doctors are in British custody charged in connection with the failed attacks.

One of them is Ahmed's brother Sabeel, 26. He appeared in court last month and was remanded until August 13 charged with withholding information on terrorism.

Two others were remanded in custody on greater charges, including Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdulla, 27, who was also arrested at Glasgow airport. Prosecutors say he conspired with Kafeel in the incident.

Kafeel was initially treated at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, but was transferred to Glasgow Royal Infirmary within a few days of the attack.

Kafeel Ahmed, an engineer from Bangalore had driven a burning jeep into the Glasgow international airport. The UK police had named him as a prime suspect. Close friends say that he was a mild person and very studious. A close look at Kafeel's activities since his college days goes on to show that he was the member of a radical Islam group.

His friends say that there was a gradual change in his attitude during his college days. He became more reserved and talked about Islam most of the time.

An aeronautical engineer with a PhD from the United Kingdom, Kafeel is alleged to be the chief designer of the car bombs used in the attack. He did his engineering from the UBTD College in Davangere, 250 km from Bangalore in southern India. His friends say that he always wanted to design planes and his ultimate dream was to work in the UK.

Dr Siddeshwara, the in-charge principal of the college said that he remembered Kafeel as a very mild boy.

Before leaving Bangalore for the UK on May 5 2007, he is said to have told his family that he was starting work on a confidential project and hence could not be reached both on telephone or e-mail. He however had assured that nothing would happen to him and there was nothing to worry.

During the last conversation he had with his mother Dr Zakia Ahmed, he said his work would be complete in a month and then he would return to Bangalore.

Kafeel is the elder son of Dr Maqbool Ahmed and Dr Zakia Ahmed, residents of Banashankari in Bangalore.

His death, despite the best medical attention, could prove a setback for the UK police investigations, some fear. But the other occupant of the jeep, Bilal, is safe and sound in policed custody. Hence they are still hoping to home in on the terror network behind the incidents.