Article published Jul 3, 2007
By David Stringer
LONDON — At least three physicians were among the suspects arrested in Britain's car-bomb plots, and authorities announced three new arrests — including a doctor in Australia — as the investigation spread overseas yesterday.
British media reports said an Indian doctor was among the eight persons in custody, and another outlet said at least five of the detainees in
Officers used heightened stop-and-search powers and armed response vehicles to hunt for anyone who might have been involved in the plot, and police put on a show of force to bolster security at airports and train stations and on city streets.Hours after police announced the arrests of two more persons in the
Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock said the detained suspect was a doctor at a hospital in
A British security official said earlier in the day that
"We have asked partners overseas to check possible links and that work has begun," the security official said, adding that it was still possible that some British-born people were involved in the plot. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.
Authorities said police searched at least 19 locations as part of the "fast-moving investigation," which has come at a time of already high vigilance before the anniversary of the suicide bombings in
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has said the group behind the weekend attacks was "associated with al Qaeda," got a call from President Bush commending him for
"President Bush concluded by reiterating that the United States is prepared to offer any assistance desired and noted the importance of continued cooperation," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House's National Security Council.
One of the officials also said there continued to be concerns about possible plots to attack the
In the latest attacks, two car bombs failed to explode in Central London on Friday and two men rammed a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas cylinders into the entrance of
The British government security official said investigators were working on a theory that the
The driver of the Jeep was being treated for serious burns at
Police announced yesterday that they arrested two men the previous day at residences at the hospital but would not say whether they were doctors.
Four men and a woman were detained earlier.
Authorities identified Bilal Abdulla, an Iraqi doctor who worked at the
According to the British General Medical Council's register, a man named Bilal Talal Abdul Samad Abdulla was registered in 2004 and trained in
A man arrested late Saturday on a highway in
The Muslim News also said the Indian doctor had used the car, cell phone and Internet account of a fellow physician who had moved from
This case could be the final proof that an idea those involved in these type of attacks are all young, angry and poorly educated is a mistake," said Paul Cornish, a former British army officer and director of defense studies at
"It's wrong to suggest al Qaeda are ignorant hill men. They are often middle- or upper-class and well-educated," Mr. Cornish said.
"We shouldn't be surprised that educated men are as involved as poor youngsters," he said. "They all subscribe to the
"My son is a moderate Muslim and carried out his religious duties, but he never embraced fanaticism," he told the Associated Press.
Information also surfaced yesterday suggesting that authorities had been close on the trail of the suspects before the attack at the
Rental agent Daniel Gardiner, whose company leased a Glasgow-area house searched by police, said officers contacted his firm just before the airport blaze to say they had tracked phone records linked to the property.
Officials recovered at least one cell phone from the car bombs in
As the investigation spread, police flooded