Jul 02 2007
Major Update: UK authorities have traced the links back to the specific al-Qaeda cell that recruited them and that cell was based in Iraq – but apparently they were recruited after the invasion:
Intelligence sources tell CBS News that the people behind the attempts were directly recruited by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the present leader of the terror group’s Iraq franchise.
Police investigating the plot had arrested eight people Tuesday, including at least six suspects trained as doctors, including a man of Indian nationality arrested in Australia. Sources close to the investigation told CBS News on Tuesday that another two or three arrests were likely to be seen in Britain, but that two of the people already in custody were likely to be released without charge.
Sources tell CBS News that al-Muhajir recruited the men between 2004 and 2005, while they were living in the Middle East, upon orders from then-Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Well, I am still not sure that the connections just appeard in 2004 – and across all those nations. How did Zarqawi recruit people from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and India while in Iraq fighting the US? No, these were sympathizers he tapped knowing they could be trusted. At least that makes more sense than just tapping some doctors and saying “hey, want to move to the UK and blow up an airport?”
One thing the liberal SurrenderMedia is going to have to come to grips with is the fact al-Qaeda was and is in Iraq, and apparently was for some time. Not to mention the need to monitor people from the Middle East, no matter how benign they may seem on the outside. Just take a look at the suspects in the UK car bomb plot:
Five of the eight people under arrest last night are said to be doctors. Another of those detained is the wife of one of the doctors, who is a medical assistant working for the NHS. The home of a sixth doctor is said to have been searched by police. Late last night an Australian television network reported that a suspect wanted in connection with the attacks had been arrested in Brisbane.
Attention has been focused on a group of nationals from the Middle East, who had not previously attracted the interest of security agencies.
Until now, cases of Islamist terrorism have involved mainly Muslims who were born and brought up in Britain. The alleged arrival of teams from abroad to carry out attacks, their identities unknown to the domestic law agencies, adds another dimension to the terrorist threat being faced in the United Kingdom.
Why were these people not of an interest to security agencies? Was it because, being doctors, they were above suspicion? Or was it because they made no contacts back to the Middle East? That is unlikely (and would be more suspicious than making some contacts one would think). It is important to assess how this cell made it by security screenings. But that is another question for a different post. Back to the al-Qaeda ties to Iraq:
With the security alert staying at the highest possible level and warnings that another attack may be “imminent”, police carried out 19 raids across the country, arresting nationals from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Among those arrested was Mohammed Jamil Abdelqader Asha, a 26-year-old neurologist who was born in Saudi Arabia but is of Palestinian origin and was travelling on a Jordanian passport. He and his 27-year-old wife, a medical assistant, were arrested on the M6 in Cheshire, in connection with the attempted bombings in London.
Also under arrest was Bilal Talal Abdul Samad Abdulla, an Iraqi from Baghdad who arrived in the UK in April 2006. He is said to have been one of the two men in the Cherokee Jeep in the Glasgow airport attack, and is suffering from third-degree burns.
His companion, under arrest, is also from Iraq, while two other men, aged 25 and 28, arrested in Paisley yesterday, were said to be doctors from Saudi Arabia.
The Iraqis are of interest to me because I would wager they have been in Iraq since before the US invasion. And I would wager their ties to al-Qaeda are as long as their ties to one of Saddam’s intelligence or special forces units. And there is good evidence I am right:
Dr Abdulla, who had qualified in Baghdad in 2004, a year after the US-led invasion, has been in Britain since August 2006. He is said to have lived in Jordan before arriving in the UK.
It seems the bloody Dr. Abdulla was trained as a doctor, and maybe more, under Saddam’s regime. It seems the police have blown up some cars at the Hospital were the good Dr worked in the UK. It turns out the UK has imported a lot of doctors from the ME to fill its public health slots (which always go wanting for professionals and is just another reason not to nationalize health care – you just end up exporting it to third world countries).
An estimated 80,000 foreign doctors are working in the NHS, including 6,000 whotrained in the Middle East. Almost a thirdâ€“ 1,985 â€“ were trained in Iraq, including Bilal Abdulla who qualified in Baghdad in 2004.
And another 184 came from Jordan, where Mohammad Asha trained â€“ and49 trained in Lebanon, his home countryseries of tests of their medical competence if they want to work at a British hospital.
But the identity checks carried out by the General Medical Council are usually as simple as checking the photo on their passports.
And the immigration service relies heavily on applicants’ honesty to disclose any criminal convictions.
I would hope all this is about to change. And I would hope we here in the US are about to do some serious reviews of any medical ‘professionals’ who came into the country since 2001. But the fact is these people seemed to have been placed under cover well in advance of our invasion into Iraq – if they are truly al-Qaeda agents. And one has to wonder if they were infiltrating Saddam’s regime or getting cover to operate in the EU by Saddam’s regime. Are these people just a group of 20 or so who all of a sudden decided to go jihadi after they got to the UK?
I seriously doubt it. All of these doctors were placed in Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia (to name the ones we know about) and then they all come councidentally to the UK to practice medicine and then somehow form a terrorist group in less than a year? Nope. Not buying it. This is an operation years in the making. Which means al-Qaeda tried to use some of its deepest covert agents to pul this off. So was this a Saddam-al Qaeda joint cell? Even more on the terrorist doctors here.