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Third terror cell on the loose in UK - Captured bomber says " We didn't want to kill, only to spread terror "

Bomber was member of Al Muhajiroun -brother also being questioned
July 30, 2005,,2087-1715223,00.html
July 31, 2005

Third terror cell on loose
David Leppard and John Follain in Rome
Intelligence warns of new wave against soft targets
A THIRD Islamist terror cell is planning multiple suicide bomb attacks against Tube trains and other "soft" targets in central London, security sources have revealed.

Intelligence about a cell with access to explosives and plans to unleash a "third wave" of attacks was the trigger for last Thursday's unprecedented security exercise. The operation saw 6,000 police, many armed, patrolling across London.

Senior police officers say that there was "specific" intelligence from several sources that an attack was planned for that day. The disclosure contradicts official statements by Scotland Yard that Thursday's security exercise — the biggest since the second world war — was simply a precaution aimed at reassuring the public.

The disclosures come as a suspected bomber detained in Italy apparently admitted to involvement in the attacks on July 21. According to Italian reports, Hussain Osman has alleged to investigators that the leader of the July 21 attacks was Muktar Said-Ibrahim, who was detained in London on Friday.

Osman claimed Ibrahim, the alleged bus bomber, had taught him how to make bombs. But he also claimed the incidents on July 21 were intended to be a political statement rather than to take lives.

Details of a "third wave" terror plot to carry out multiple suicide attacks were disclosed to senior police commanders at an emergency Special Branch conference held at Scotland Yard last Wednesday. All police leave was cancelled and hundreds of officers were instructed to book into central London hotel rooms.

Members of the third cell are said to be independent of the July 7 and July 21 terrorists but have "associations" with some of the suspects who have been arrested in connection with the July 21 attacks. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the anti-terrorist branch, said that despite capturing the four suspected bombers and a fifth man linked to the cell "the threat remains and is very real".

Another officer, a member of the Yard's firearms unit, which captured three of the suspected suicide bombers in two raids in west London, said: "What we did on Friday was just the tip of the iceberg. There is some big stuff coming in the next few months. There's a big network that's got to be cracked."

Osman, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Ethiopia who has British citizenship, was arrested by Italian police at his brother's flat in Rome after an international manhunt.

He is reported to have travelled to France via the Eurostar and then to Italy. Shortly before his arrest, Osman made one phone call to a Saudi Arabian mobile number. Osman is also said to have confessed almost immediately to Italian police. "Yes, it is true, I was there on July 21. I'd been given a rucksack," he reportedly told police.

Osman is said to have claimed the attacks had been planned by Ibrahim after the two had met at a gym in Notting Hill, west London. He said they had acted independently, had no links to the July 7 attacks, in which 56 people died, and had been taken by surprise by the suicide bombings two weeks earlier.

His group decided to carry out the attacks as a statement about the war in Iraq but was not linked to Al-Qaeda or any other terrorists. Contrary to some reports, he told his interrogators that the plotters did intend to explode their rucksacks but that they did not intend to kill anybody.

He is reported to have said: "Religion had nothing to do with this. We watched films. We were shown videos with images of the war in Iraq. We were told we must do something big. That's why we met."

Osman, who is suspected of the Shepherd's Bush attack, claimed they had not meant to kill anyone. "I didn't want to kill, ours was supposed to be a demonstrative act," he is said to have told interrogators. "We planned to carry out an attack. We didn't want to kill, only to spread terror."

Osman appeared at a hearing yesterday where Italian magistrates received a British government request for his urgent extradition. He objected to extradition. His lawyer said it could take up to two months for him to be returned to London.

Ibrahim is being questioned at Paddington Green top security police station in London. Yasin Omar, the suspected Warren Street Tube bomber, was arrested last week. The fourth man, Ramzi Mohammed, the suspected Oval Tube bomber, was arrested with Ibrahim. Ramzi's brother, Wahbi, 22, is being questioned about the discovery of a discarded fifth bomb.


The Sunday Times - Britain,,2087-1715379,00.html

July 31, 2005

No checks as fugitive fled UK
Robert Winnett and David Leppard
Britain's border controls were under fire last night after it emerged that one of the suspected July 21 suicide bombers fled abroad five days after the attempted attacks.

This was several days after his photograph had been published widely in newspapers and on television. Hussain Osman escaped abroad on a Eurostar train last Tuesday en route to Rome, where he was finally arrested by Italian police on Friday.

His British passport was checked only by French immigration officials at Waterloo because outgong British passport checks were abandoned at the station last year. Yesterday reports in Italy suggested that Osman, who was born in Ethiopia, used fake Somali documents to obtain political asylum in Britain about five years ago.

Osman, who has also used the name Hamdi Isaac, previously lived in Italy with other members of his family and speaks fluent Italian. It is not known if he attempted and failed to obtain Italian citizenship before travelling to Britain to claim asylum.

The Italian interior ministry said Osman, who lived in London with a girlfriend and three children, had an Italian residence permit that had expired in 1996. On the form he had specified his nationality as Ethiopian. Ethiopians are not normally eligible for asylum in Britain.

Last year the Home office admitted it had a problem with citizens of other African countries claiming Somali nationality and introduced language tests to stop the fraud. The changes were made amid condemnation of Britain's lax immigration controls. However, Osman had already illegitimately obtained his British passport under the lax system.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "This demonstrates the vital and immediate necessity for the government to get a grip on our porous borders, both in terms of people coming into the country and in terms of people leaving."

Concerns are being raised as to how Osman was able to leave the country amid a massive manhunt. After the July 7 attacks and the attempted bombings a fortnight later, the police elite Special Branch unit was supposed to be monitoring the Eurostar terminal. British immigration officials were also making spot checks on certain passengers.

Yesterday the Home Office refused to comment on security lapses or to reveal what information had been given to French officials at Waterloo. Officials are understood to be urgently retrieving Osman's immigration records but Charles Clarke, the home secretary, is on a long vacation in New England and therefore unable oversee inquiries into the alleged failings of the immigration service.

A senior police source said that the Eurostar terminal was "plastered" with pictures of the men. He alleged that French and British immigration officials were to blame for letting Osman slip through.

"This shows the controls were fairly weak," he said. "This man's photograph, like that of all the suspects, was plastered all over Waterloo station, including at the Eurostar terminal.

"The French officials there can be a little difficult at times. It's just their attitude. It's the French way, slightly arrogant."

A police spokesman said the CCTV image of the Shepherd's Bush bomb suspect, whose identity was not known when he left the country, was the least clear of the four. A better image was released only last Thursday, after he had left the country.

The suspected bomber's successful escape will lead to renewed calls for a tightening of security controls at Britain's borders.


MIM: According to this story the Imam says that the bombers objected to his moderate views. It does not appear that the journalists have checked into the story. It is often the case that terror supporting groups and mosques, such as the Muslim Council of Britain and the Birmingham Central mosque use the ploy of denouncing Al Muhajiroun as extremist to falsely give the impression that they are moderates,,2087-1715191,00.html

History of hate

Bombing suspect tried to have moderate imam sacked
by Abul Taher and John Elliott
THE man suspected of being responsible for the failed Oval bombing was a hardline Muslim who harangued fellow worshippers and tried to get the imam at his mosque sacked for preaching against terrorism.

Ramzi Mohammed, who was arrested on Friday in west London in connection with the failed July 21 bomb attacks, repeatedly threatened the imam because he held moderate views.

He was part of a small gang thought to be members of Al-Muhajiroun, the extreme Islamist organisation, who prayed separately from other worshippers at the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in North Kensington.

Among them was his brother Wahbi, 22, who is being questioned about a rucksack bomb discarded near Wormwood Scrubs in west London.

Ahmed Dahdouh, the imam of the mosque, said the Mohammed brothers were known for their radicalism. He said he was abused by them on several occasions. They called him an "infidel" and "apostate".

"Ramzi and his brother used to come here in the mosque. There were four or five of them in the group. They caused a lot of trouble," said Dahdouh.

"They used to pray on their own as they used to think we were not proper Muslims.

"In one of my Friday sermons I once said that Islam forbids terrorism.

"I recall Ramzi later came up to me and told me, ‘Why did you say that? It's wrong.'

" He was angry with me. He tried to get me sacked because I disagreed with them."

Ramzi Mohammed, who is thought to come from Somalia, was arrested at his flat in North Kensington with Muktar Said-Ibrahim, another alleged bomber.

Wahbi Mohammed was arrested less than a mile away at his flat.

Their group distributed leaflets claiming that voting was un-Islamic.

On one occasion they broke a glass display cabinet in the mosque and tore down a poster to replace it with one of their own.

The brothers, who wore white Muslim robes, ran a stall in Golborne Road, Notting Hill, distributing Islamic books and pamphlets.

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