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July 15, 2005

Chemist Sought in London Blasts Caught In Egypt

As life goes on in America and New York police plan to warn the public about suicide bombers (militant Islamic terrorist thugs - more in extended post), there's one more militant Islamic thug headed to a neighborhood near you - off the streets and in custody:

(initial image via Jawa Report)

Magdy Asi el-Nashar, a former North Carolina State University graduate student, who has been sought as the possible bomb-maker in the deadly London attacks that killed 54 innocent people and wounded more than 700 others, is alive and I hope not-too-well in the hands of Egyptian authorities. We can assume that he is being "questioned" in a manner that's a wee bit different than he'd be in politically correct Britain, or the U.S.:


El-Nashar was arrested early Friday, the Egyptian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement of the information had not yet been made. El-Nashar, who studied at North Carolina State and Leeds University (search), was being interrogated by Egyptian authorities, the official said.

Metropolitan Police in London said a man has been arrested in Cairo, but they would not confirm his name or characterize him as a suspect.

British and FBI officials were looking for el-Nashar, who recently had been teaching chemistry at Leeds University, north of London. The Times of London said el-Nashar was thought to have rented one of the homes police searched in Leeds in a series of raids Tuesday. Neighbors reported el-Nashar recently left Britain, saying he had a visa problem, the newspaper said.

Leeds University said el-Nashar arrived in October 2000 to do biochemical research, sponsored by the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt. It said he earned a doctorate on May 6.

FBI agents in Raleigh, N.C., had joined the search for el-Nashar. North Carolina State spokesman Keith Nichols said a person named el-Nashar studied at the university as a graduate student in chemical engineering for a semester beginning in January 2000 until the spring.

"We're aware of an arrest in Cairo, but we are not prepared to discuss who we may or may not wish to interview in connection with this investigation," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement. "This remains a fast-moving investigation with a number of lines of inquiry, some of which may have an international dimension."

Here is what The Mirror has to say(via Jawa Report). Of course, as expected, El-Nasher isn't an atheist, a Jew, a Christian, or a Hindu, etc..., and as Jawa Report suggests - it's no shocking revelation that El-Nashar was a devout Muslim who apparently "couldn't keep his yap shut" about his version of the Religion of Peace "for more than five seconds:"

A KEY suspect in the London bombings has been held for questioning near Cairo, Scotland Yard said today.

Egyptian security sources identified the man to be Magdy Mahmoud Elnashar (left), a bio-chemist thought to have links to a Leeds flat being searched by anti-terrorist officers.

The 33-year-old bio-chemist is believed to have handed the keys of a terror base in Leeds to the four killers.

He is also thought to have been close to Lyndsay Jermain, a 19-year-old Jamaican also known as Abdullah Shaheed Jamal, suspected of being the fourth member of the gang.

A security source said: "We have to find out what exactly his role was in all of this. We need to know how he knew Jamal and came to give him the keys to that flat. We have to speak to him as soon as we can."

The Mirror last night traced El-Nashar to an address in the Maadu area of Cairo where we a woman answered the phone number of the address but did not comment.

Elnashar was noted in Leeds University biochemistry department for his devotion to Islam. He travelled with his mother to Mecca on a pilgrimage last January.

He said he planned to leave university in late June, saying he had a problem with his visa, though it was updated early in February.

A source revealed that he was constantly asking the research degrees office there for the conferment date for his PhD to be brought forward.

He told flatmates at 22 St John's Terrace in Leeds - close to the suspected terror base at Alexandra Grove - he would "see them soon" when he left last week.

Police have seized all documents detailing his stay in Britain. He has studied at Leeds since October 2000.

Last night 12 West Yorkshire and Met Police officers began a fingertip search of his flat. The back of the property was guarded by an officer with a protective vest.

Meanwhile Britain's most senior police officer today warned there was a "very strong possibility" of further terrorist bombings.

Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair believes his detectives will establish a "clear link" between the bombers responsible for last week's attacks on the Capital and al-Qaeda, who have tended to launch bomb attacks in waves in the past.

Sir Ian described the bombers as "foot soldiers" and said attacks were not less likely because they were dead.

"What we expect to find at some stage, is that there is a clear al-Qaeda link, a clear al-Qaeda approach, because the four men who are dead, who we believe are the bombers, are in the category of foot soldiers.

"So therefore what we have got to find is who encouraged them, who trained them, who is the chemist?

"Those are the things in which we are now so interested."

More information on El-Nashar and the story coming...

MEANWHILE - BACK IN AMERICA: Yes, as reported in the Mirror article, the New York police to warn public on suicide bombers (Hat tip - Arully's Clipping)

Police in New York will board city buses and subway trains and teach passengers how to recognize suicide bombers, officials said on Thursday in the wake of the deadly blasts blamed on such bombers in London.

Other coverage of the El-Nasher story:

Blog coverage:
Outside The Beltway
In The Bull Pen

Cross posted at Hyscience

Posted by Richard at July 15, 2005 6:49 PM

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