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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Doctor friend of Glasgow airport bombers can stay in UK

Doctor friend of Glasgow airport bombers can stay in UK

August 7, 2009

Doctor cleared of plot 'can stay'

Dr Mohammed Asha Dr Asha: Fought deportation

The Home Office is no longer seeking to deport a doctor cleared of plotting the failed car bomb attacks on London and Glasgow Airport.

Mohammed Asha, a neurologist from Jordan, was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder in an al-Qaeda inspired attack in June 2007.

Despite the verdict, the government immediately sought to deport Dr Asha on national security grounds.

The BBC understands his case, due to be heard in October, is being withdrawn.

Dr Asha, who practised in Staffordshire, was said in court to be a close friend of the bombers, Bilal Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed, both of whom he had met in Cambridge.

The bombers were arrested at Glasgow Airport on 30 June 2007, after they rammed the terminal building with a burning jeep.

Dr Asha was arrested later on the M6 motorway. He was accused of funding the plot and playing a supporting role.

But at his trial, Dr Asha told the jury that his friendship with the men did not extend to supporting their violent aims. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8189577.stm

He received the support of medical colleagues, one of whom supplied a glowing character reference, describing the Jordanian as having the potential to become the country's top neurologist.

Decision welcomed

Tayab Ali, one of Dr Asha's legal team, welcomed Friday's decision.

"Dr Asha always said he was innocent and that he was not a threat to national security," he told BBC News.

"His position is now entirely vindicated. He now hopes that he can resume his normal life as a family man and neurosurgeon.

"We hope that the Home Office grants him indefinite leave to remain so that he can continue to be of benefit to the UK population as a highly-skilled NHS doctor."

Earlier this year lawyers for the Home Secretary told the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which hears national security cases, that the doctor posed a threat and should be sent back to Jordan.

But Mr Justice Mitting bailed Dr Asha to a Birmingham address, pending a full hearing.

In July, the General Medical Council, responsible for approving doctors, reinstated Dr Asha to the medical register, meaning that he was free to practice again in the UK.

He is currently not working and his full immigration status is yet to be resolved.

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