|Bomb-maker arrested in Egypt: ABC|
Washington, July 15
The alleged bomb-builder in the July 7 London terror attacks has been arrested in Cairo where he is being interrogated, ABC news reported today citing sources including the FBI.
“ABC News has exclusive information, as we said, that the worldwide manhunt for the man that the police think has built those bombs has ... been caught in Cairo and (is) being interrogated right now,” ABC television said.
“The FBI in North Carolina joined the search,” it added.
“Authorities in Egypt tell ABC News he was tracked down and taken into custody overnight in suburban Cairo. British authorities had initiated a worldwide manhunt for 33-year-old Magdy Nashar who left England two weeks before the bombings. The police say it was he who helped the bombers set up their bomb factory,” the network reported.
As the confirmed death toll from the July 7 bombings rose to 54, with some 700 injured, investigators were hoping that fuzzy security camera images of one of the bombers, aged just 18, would encourage more witnesses to come forward.
In London, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair confirmed on BBC radio that there was “a Pakistan connection” to the bombings, in which three of the four suspected perpetrators were Britons of Pakistani origin.
But he added: “There are also connections in other countries.”
“What we expect to find at some stage is that there is a clear Al-Qaida link, a clear Al-Qaida approach,” he said.
Meanwhile, as the police hunt for the London bombings mastermind, investigations here have revealed that a national terrorist network may be behind the last week’s serial blasts.
The discovery that the fourth bomber, a Jamican-born Briton, came from a different background than the other three, Britons of Pakistani origin, suggests that the bombers were part of a wider network.
After the police released CCTV images of Hasib Hussain yesterday, the man who blew up the bus here — rucksack on his back — at Luton station at 7.20 AM on July 7, anti-terrorist officers and Mi5 are trying to track down other members of the terrorist unit.
The police are hunting the London bombings mastermind and an Egyptian chemistry student who disappeared from his Leeds home and detectives said they are also trying to crack the network thought to have given the dead suspects planning, logistical and bomb-making support. — AFP, PTI
|Egyptian 'expressed sorrow' over attacks|
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- The Egyptian biochemist now in detention and being questioned in connection with the London attacks expressed sorrow over those strikes right after they occurred, the man's brother maintains.
Mohammed el-Nashar -- interviewed by CNN on Saturday -- attempted to dispel an emerging image of his detained brother, Magdy, as a radical and a militant.
He said his brother Magdy loved England, noted that he was treated well there and planned on returning to Britain for study. El-Nashar earned an advanced degree in England and studied, for a brief period, in the United States.
Egypt's Interior Ministry has said in a written statement that Magdy el-Nashar "denied any relationship to what happened recently in London" and that expression jibes with the words of his brother.
Mohammed el-Nashar -- who is a 28-year-old musician -- was interviewed in the lower-middle-class neighborhood of Basatin in southern Cairo. He said his brother was staying with him and his parents, who are in ailing health, since June 30.
He said there has been no word from authorities about where his brother is, how he is being treated, and developments in the investigation.
Egyptian security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Magdy el-Nashar was detained Thursday night and were questioning him in connection with the London attacks. But the family said it is not clear why, when or how he was detained.
The family -- the brother and their parents -- last saw Magdy on the day of his arrest, Mohammed said. He slept past early afternoon prayers and then, clad in a track suit, headed over to a mosque for late afternoon prayers.
That was the last time family members saw him. They don't know whether he was arrested before or after prayers.
Police later confiscated computers and papers from the parents' house, the brother said.
Mohammed described Magdy as a peaceful, generous man who was religious but not particularly devout and he said that his brother is divorced and has a 3-year-old daughter.
British and U.S. authorities have said investigators were hoping to question el-Nashar in connection with last week's bombings. Magdy el-Nashar has a doctorate in biochemistry from Leeds University, about 200 miles north of London. El-Nashar spent time at North Carolina State studying chemical engineering in 2000.
The brother said an Egyptian government scholarship enabled him to study in the United States and England.
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior said he earned a bachelor's degree in 1994 from Cairo University.
Mohammed el-Nashar said he wasn't aware that his brother traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where many militants have been trained.
Investigators this week have searched several homes in Leeds, including el-Nashar's rented flat. At one point they sent a bomb squad into the apartment.
Authorities continued to piece through the flat Friday, but did not say what they found.
A knowledgeable source told CNN that investigators found TATP -- an explosive commonly used by terrorist groups -- inside the home.
Magdy el-Nashar, 33, lived in Britain since 2000. But he left Britain on a study break and planned to return to continue his studies, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said.
Report on the Improper Use of an NSL to NC State University
Improper National Security Letter Issued at Direction of FBIHQ; Not Reported For Nearly Two Years
Documents obtained by an EFF Freedom of Information Act request show that a high profile misuse of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Security Letter authority went unreported to the Intelligence Oversight Board for almost two years.
The improper NSL was issued at the direction of FBI headquarters, after the FBI already had the documents in hand pursuant to an earlier subpoena. While the matter received the personal attention of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, as well as officials with the FBI Office of the General Counsel, and was covered in news media, it was not formally reported until a short time before Inspector General Glenn Fine’s report on the abuse of NSLs was due before Congress. While the report identified dozens of instances in which National Security Letters may have violated laws and agency regulations and were not reported, this is the first time documents have that shown top FBI executives were aware of a misuse before it was officially reported.
1. FBI documents show that, over the span of three days in July 2005, the Bureau first obtained educational records pursuant to a grand jury subpoena, and then -- at the direction of FBIHQ -- returned the records and sought them again pursuant to an improper NSL. The improper NSL was refused by the university, but the FBI finally obtained them pursuant to a second grand jury subpoena.
2. Later in July 2005, FBI Director Mueller used the delay in obtaining these records as an example of why the FBI needed administrative subpoena power instead of NSLs.
3. The misuse of the NSL was not formally reported until February 2007.
The First Grand Jury Subpoena
It all began on July 13, 2005, when the agents from the FBI’s Charlotte field office sought educational records from North Carolina State University at Raleigh, first using a grand jury subpoena obtained in conjunction with the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina (EDNC). The FBI worked with EDNC Judge Terrence Boyle to obtain a "sealed court order" to accompany the subpoena. The authorities were seeking information on Magdy Mahmoud Mustafa el-Nashar who, according to USA Today, “was a graduate student in chemical engineering for the spring 2000 semester at N.C. State.”
El-Nashar is an Egyptian bio-chemist who, after leaving N.C. State, obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Leeds in England in Spring 2005. The authorities were interested in his educational records since el-Nashar had met two of the London subway bombers, and allowed one to stay at his apartment in Leeds. According to the International Herald Tribune, he was held for questioning but eventually released without charge “after investigations proved he was not linked to the July 7 bombings.” Eventually news reports would reveal that "it was all a sorry coincidence, a case of a man who happened to befriend the wrong people at the wrong time." However, at the time, USA Today reported, the “FBI was investigating el-Nashar's activities in the USA at the request of British authorities.”
On July 14, USA Today reported that “Peter Kilpatrick, the head of N.C. State's chemical engineering department, said he handed over his files on el-Nashar to FBI agents,” but did not explain what legal authority was used. A later Newsweek report stated "In the United States, FBI agents visited North Carolina State University and served a subpoena on Peter Kilpatrick, head of the school's chemical- and biomolecular-engineering department, who handed over all available records pertaining to Nashar's brief stint as a chemical-engineering student there in early 2000." However, a Washington Post report later said that "the university did not honor" the first subpoena.
According to a 2007 FBI report, a Special Agent with the FBI’s Raleigh Resident Agency “served the subpoena and had some records in hand,” when he received a call from Michael Saylor, the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent (SSRA) for Raleigh. According a 2005 FBI email describing the incident, “this [grand jury subpoena] process was stopped at the direction of” FBI headquarters’ Counter-Terrorism Division. According to 2007 FBI documents, the Special Agent returned the records obtained by the original grand jury subpoena.
Counterterrorism officials in FBI headquarters slowed an investigation into a possible conspirator in the 2005 London bombings by forcing a field agent to return documents acquired from a U.S. university. Why? Because the agent received the documents through a lawful subpoena, while headquarters wanted him to demand the records under the USA Patriot Act, using a power the FBI did not have, but desperately wanted.
When a North Carolina State University lawyer correctly rejected the second records demand, the FBI obtained another subpoena. Two weeks later, the delay was cited by FBI director Robert Mueller in congressional testimony as proof that the USA Patriot Act needed to be expanded.
|"Now in my mind, we should not, in that circumstance have to show somebody that this was an emergency," Mueller testified on July 27, 2005|
|QUOTE (Sinclair @ Apr 16 2008, 10:36 PM)|
| An interview with Magdy el Nashar, broadcast on July 7th 2006 on the Radio 4 Today programme.|
The interviewer states "You knew one of the bombers Lindsey Germaine..."
|Chemist Sought in London Probe Arrested|
July 15, 2005
By staff report
© Copyright 2005
LONDON - Police in Egypt have arrested an Egyptian biochemist sought in the probe of the London bombings, an official said Friday. Meanwhile, authorities investigated a possible link between al-Qaida and the suicide team that carried out attacks.
Magdy el-Nashar, 33, was taken into custody upon his arrival in Cairo from abroad, an 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 University and taught at Leeds University in Britain, was being interrogated by Egyptian authorities, the official said.
The official could not specify the date of the arrest or where el-Nashar was arriving from, but said it could be as long as a week ago.
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."
Earlier, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said investigators were hunting the organizers of the London transit attacks _ perpetrated by what he called "foot soldiers" _ and confirmed police were focusing on a Pakistan connection.
Three of the bombers who carried out last week's terror strikes were Britons of Pakistani origin. Pakistani intelligence officials said Friday that local authorities are looking into a connection between one of the three and two al-Qaida-linked militant groups in that country.
Blair told British Broadcasting Corp. radio that police believed they would discover an al-Qaida connection to the blasts that killed at least 54 people.
"What we expect to find at some stage is that there is a clear al-Qaida link, a clear al-Qaida approach, because the four men who are dead, who we believe are the bombers, are in the category of foot soldiers," Blair said.
Authorities in Pakistan were looking into a connection between one of the London suicide bombers and two al-Qaida-linked militant groups in Pakistan, including a man arrested for a 2002 attack on a church near the U.S. Embassy[?], two senior intelligence officials said.
The investigation is focusing on at least one trip that 22-year-old Shahzad Tanweer made to Pakistan in the past year, said the officials, who work at two separate intelligence agencies and are involved in the investigation. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the secretive nature of their jobs.
One of the officials said that while in Pakistan, Tanweer is believed to have visited a radical religious school run by the banned Sunni Muslim militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.
The sprawling school in Muridke, 20 miles north of the eastern city of Lahore, has a reputation for hostility. Journalists who have traveled to the school in the past have been threatened and prevented from entering. Lashkar-e-Tayyaba was banned by Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf for alleged links to a 2001 attack on India's Parliament.
ABC News, citing unidentified officials, reported that the attacks were connected to an al-Qaida plot planned two years ago in Lahore, Pakistan. Names on a computer that authorities seized last year from Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, an alleged Pakistani computer expert for al-Qaida, matched a suspected cell of young Britons of Pakistani origin, most of whom lived near Luton, where the alleged suicide bombers met up on their way to London shortly before last week's blasts, according to the report.
Authorities have now discovered ties between Mohammed Sidique Khan _ one of the July 7 bombers _ and members of that [Crevice] cell who were arrested last year, ABC said.
In another international development in the inquiry, Jamaica's government said it was investigating a Jamaican-born Briton as one of the bombers.
At a news conference Thursday, police released closed-circuit TV video showing one of the four suicide bombers _ 18-year-old Hasib Hussain _ wearing a backpack as he passed through Luton train station north of London on his way to the capital.
Hussain allegedly set off the bomb that killed 14 people aboard the bus. That blast occurred nearly an hour after three London Underground trains blew up, and investigators don't yet know what Hussain did during that hour or when he boarded the bus.
Trying to map out Hussain's movements, police appealed for information from anyone who may have seen him in or around King's Cross station, where the four parted ways. They released a closed-circuit television image showing him wearing a large camping-style backpack as he strode through a train station in Luton.
The men traveled together from Luton to King's Cross just before the blasts, police said.
Police officially identified two of the suicide bombers Thursday _ Hussain and Tanweer, whom they say attacked a subway train between Liverpool Street and Aldgate stations.
Both were Britons of Pakistani ancestry, as was 30-year-old Mohammed Sidique Khan. Reports say the fourth attacker was Jamaican-born Briton Lindsey Germaine.
Jamaican Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Wilton Dyer said officials were waiting for Britain to confirm the identity of the suspect before they could help in identifying his possible origins in Jamaica.
A service of the Associated Press(AP)
Born in Bahawalpur Pakistan, Osama Nazir (Urdu: عسما نزير) is accused of involvement with several attacks against Christian churches in Murree and Taxila, as well as an attempt on President Musharraf's life.
In July 2004, Pakistani forces claimed to have killed Nazir along with six others, in an attack - though he was later arrested that November by Pakistani forces that stormed the Madressah Fatehul Quran Al Arabia attached to Jamia Zikriya Mosque in Faisalabad. Originally his wife and two young daughters had also been arrested, though they were released several days later, when US officials also requested that Pakistan turn Nazir over, so he could be tried for a 2002 attack that left five dead, including two Americans.
A close associate of Maulana Masood Azhar, Nazir had a $5million bounty on his head and later told authorities that he met with Shehzad Tanweer in [November] 2004, prior to the latter's alleged involvement in the 7 July 2005 London bombings.
|23 November 2004 Tuesday 10 Shawwal 1425|
FAISALABAD: Daughters, wife of Osama Nazir released
By Our Staff Correspondent
FAISALABAD, Nov 22: The wife and two minor daughters of Osama Nazir, his alleged associate Qari Allah Nawaz and his two brothers-in-law were released from custody by the police and secret agency personnel here on Sunday night. However, sources claimed Osama Nazir had been shifted to Islamabad for interrogation.
According to details, Nazir Ahmed alias Adil Ahmed and known as Osama Nazir, with Rs2 million head money was rounded up along with his wife, Zainab Bibi and two minor daughters from a seminary adjacent to Jamia Zikriya Mosque, Civil Lines, on Wednesday [17 November] night.
After Osama's arrest, the police also arrested Qari Allah Nawaz and his two brothers-in-law Imran (11) and Shaukat Ali (14) from a mosque in Bhaiwala, Nishatabad on the same day. Osama Nazir was wanted in murderous attacks on President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz as well as killings in different churches.
When this correspondent visited the house of Allah Nawaz, his wife said he (the Qari) along with her brothers had left Faisalabad on early Monday morning for Bahawalpur to meet some relatives.
|Grenade Attack on a Church in Pakistan, March 17, 2002:|
Militants threw grenades into the Protestant International Church in Islamabad, Pakistan, during a service attended by diplomatic and local personnel. Five persons, two of them U.S. citizens, were killed and 46 were wounded. The dead Americans were State Department employee Barbara Green and her daughter Kristen Wormsley. Thirteen U.S. citizens were among the wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group was suspected.
US Army timeline
|On March 17, 2002 at 11:00 AM, two members of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi bombed the International Protestant Church in Islamabad during a church service. Five people were killed and 40 people were injured, mostly expatriates. In July 2002 Pakistani police killed one of the alleged perpetrators and arrested four Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members in connection with the church attack. The LJ members confessed to the killings and said the attack was in retaliation for the U.S. attack on Afghanistan.|
Wikipedia redirects here
|O'BRIEN: Major, I'm curious about this off-limits area. Clearly this is a place, some 300 meters from the U.S. embassy, presumably the security precautions there would be immense -- we would hope. What does this tell us about those security measures, and are you getting any sense from the administration that the U.S. embassy there might be under more strict security guidelines in the future?|
GARRETT: Well clearly everything on a security format will now be looked at in a new and tragic light. And I'm sure the administration will take every step imaginable, not only with its own security at its own diplomatic residence there and other diplomatic areas, but also to alert all others operating in Pakistan to, again, raise their level of security even higher. Probably what it underscores, Miles, is a sense that there are those within Pakistan, perhaps who have ties to the intelligence community there, who roam a little bit more freely than American or others intelligence agencies were really able to understand or appreciate.
And this goes to the deeper issue within Pakistan. It had strong intelligence community alliances with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Those were severed, at least officially, at the highest levels of the government (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Pervez Musharraf, the president. It appears that they still linger and some sympathies linger and there may be other episodes of violence like this pointed clearly at Americans, pointed at others who are siding against Taliban and with the United States. It creates yet another areas of instability or at least a mention of instability within Pakistan complicated matters for the United States and for its new ally in the war on terror -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: CNN's Major Garrett, north lawn of the White House. Thank you very much.
|On March 17, 2002, the Protestant International Church in Islamabad was attacked by a suicide bomber. Detective McHale and a senior attaché from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security were the first American security officials to arrive.|
Mike Evanoff, the senior officer with the U.S. Dept. of State, flagged down McHale, who was in a separate vehicle, after hearing the explosions. Mike (who now serves as Condoleezza Rice’s lead body guard) and Tom were the first two Americans at the scene of the bombing just moments after the explosions tore through the Christian church.
McHale remembered that one man they helped – a Brit named Mark – was one of more than 40 injured in the attack.
We found Mark leaving the church covered in blood from his own injuries as well as the blood from other victims,” McHale remembered. “Mark was carrying an American child who had been separated from his family. We got another American family who were en route to the hospital to take the toddler with them.”
Multiple explosions left men, women and children lying in and outside of the church injured and bleeding. Over 40 people were wounded. Five victims lay dead, including an American woman and her daughter.
McHale said that Mark was able to provide the most detailed account of the attack and that he offered up crucial information that there were still unexploded grenades in the church.
“After entering the church I found one unexploded grenade and immediately evacuated the Pakistani first responders,” McHale said. “A CIA EOD team arrived and I briefed them on the situation. They searched the church and found two additional unexploded grenades. The CIA EOD team rendered the grenades safe.”
Commenting from his home in the U.K., Mark said he would never forget that awful day and the image of Tom McHale in his t-shirt running up to the scene along with Mike Evanoff.
“Anyone who runs towards the sound of an explosion is clearly made of the right stuff,” Mark said. “The only U.S. officials at the church in the immediate aftermath of the explosions were Tom McHale and Mike Evanoff. They arrived even before the police, whose station was just next door.”
Detective McHale’s training and experience proved invaluable that day. He quickly got the appropriate personnel to assist the injured and identify people who were already on their way to the hospital. He learned there were at least three additional unexploded grenades in the church. He moved quickly to evacuate the church and called for U.S. Government EOD teams, who arrived quickly and were able to locate and dismantle the bombs. McHale played the instrumental role coordinating the crime scene and writing extensive reports on the incident for the U.S. Government.
|Sarfaraz Ahmed carried out the first suicide bombing in Pakistan on March 17, 2002, inside Islamabad's Protestant International Church. A member of Jaish-e-Mohammad's splinter group, Jamaatul Furqaan, Ahmed was just 20 and belonged to a poor family from Attock. The operations by the United States-led allied forces in Afghanistan, which he deemed to be atrocities against Muslims, motivated him to carry out the attack. Ahmed was said to be close to Maulana Abdul Jabbar, the chief of a splinter group of Maulana Masood Azhar's Jaish, which Jabbar had launched after developing differences with Masood Azhar after the latter ordered him not to attack American interests in Pakistan.|
|The British intelligence agencies investigating the July 7, 2007 suicide bombings in London have informed their Pakistan counterparts that two of the four suicide bombers, Shehzad Tanweer and Siddique Khan, had met Osama Nazir, a leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, in Faisalabad, a few months before the 7/7 bombings when they had visited Pakistan. Osama Nazir's meeting with Shehzad Tanweer and Siddique Khan was reportedly held at a religious seminary in Faisalabad – Jamia Fatahul Raheem, being run by Qari Ahlullah Raheemi, an extremist Sunni Muslim cleric considered close to Maulana Masood Azhar. During their stay at Jamia Fathul Raheem, Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were reportedly trained in the handling of explosives by Osama, who headed a group of trained suicide bombers at that time. Osama was finally nabbed from the Jamia Fatahul Raheem in November 2004. Information provided by Osama Nazir further reveals that Shehzad Tanweer had stayed at another extremist Sunni religious school – Jamia Manzurul Islami situated in the sensitive Cantonment area of Lahore, and being run by its principal, Pir Saifullah Khalid, who is considered close to Masood Azhar.|
Bhutto party website
|As for Osama Nazir, he will say whatever British intelligence want him to say—his Pakistani jailers are probably not feeding him Chicken Makhani, sipping tea, and playing Double Trumps with him. It’s no secret Pakistan has one of the worst human rights records in the world and political prisoners are routinely tortured.|
|During the hearing, the court was also informed about Osama Nazir, also mentioned by President Pervez Musharraf in his book In the Line of Fire to be an explosives expert. It was informed that Mr Nazir was in the custody of Rawalpindi police but lodged in Taxila.|
Advocate Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had invited the attention of the court about the man, who had been picked from Faisalabad on Eid day in 2004 and, according to Hafiz Abdul Basit who was released recently, he had developed tuberculosis and severe backbone problem because of which he was not in a position to move.
The court ordered proper medical treatment of the detainee.
Supreme Court asks govt to regularise ‘disappearances’
|EXCLUSIVE: THE 4TH BOMBER|
Exclusive By Jeremy Armstrong And Jeff Edwards 15/07/2005
Geoff Thompson, 57, who lived opposite No 18, said: "I told police I'd seen a stranger acting suspiciously around five to six weeks ago.
"He was about 6ft 3in tall, and had a Mediterranean look with dark, curly hair. He'd come and go at strange hours and always seemed to be hiding from view. I last saw him at the address days before the bombings and just thought there was something dodgy about him. There was something not right. He didn't live there, but he'd come and go at strange hours .You'd see him coming out of the mosque just opposite at 3am."
|He described the man as being about 6 feet tall, olive-skinned and clean-shaven, wearing light brown trousers and a light brown top.|
|... in the el-Nashar case, the Bureau tried to cover up the incident by failing to report it for nearly two years to the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB). That is, until shortly before Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine's report on FBI NSL abuse was due before Congress. Statutory requirements demand that potential violations be reported to the IOB within 14 days|
|This is my story|
I have been thinking for many years to write my story about the London 7/7 bombing in 2005 and how I was wrongly involved. It is amazing to know how powerful the media is and how it can turn a person's life upside down. I could say that I read over 3000 pages of writing on the internet about me and many of them wrote wrong information, copying and pasting it from each other. I was the main topic on the front page of almost all magazines and papers and after being released, they only mentioned my clearance in a small paragraph and of course not obvious to most people. My main motivator to write the story is to correct the written information, especially since I have a family and I believe that someone has to protect them from any misconception. It took me many years to start writing my story and every time I would stop as I did not know how to conclude it, until last year when I officially received my clearance letter from Scotland Yard. To make it easy for any one to follow, I wrote my story in paragraphs and each one describes an important issue related to my life and/or the London 7/7. Moreover, most paragraphs are supported with documents or references wherever possible. So let's start the story which begins firstly with…
I was enrolled in a French school from the age of 5 till the age of 18. The school is a mix of boys and girls from Egypt, France, USA and many other countries and we had many teachers from France. In 1990, I joined the University of Cairo were I studied chemistry for 4 years. In 1994, I graduated with a very good grade and I had good offers to join companies with good salaries such as GUPCO (petroleum Co.) and COTECH (English-Egyptian painting Co.); however, I chose to work as a researcher at the National Research Center, the most prestigious research Center in Egypt, as I really liked research.
Through a full M.Sc. Scholarship from the Academy of Higher Education and Scientific Research, I received my Masters degree from the Faculty of Science in Cairo University in January 1998. Then I was awarded straightaway another full scholarship from the Egyptian Delegation to get a Ph.D. from the USA. However, due to some routine, I only travelled in Dec. 1999. I went to North Carolina State University (NCSU) to join the Department of Chemical Engineering. After passing my first exam and getting the top mark among all my colleagues, I was told by my supervisor that if I could continue at this level, I could finish my Masters and Ph.D. within 6.5 years. I was shocked to know that especially that my scholarship would only sponsor me for 5 years. After I had finished the first semester with grade A, I was advised by my colleagues to not continue. Dr Ahmed El-Naggar, advised me to go the UK and to join the Biochemistry Department in Leeds University as his wife was studying there and his reasoning was that I could get my Ph.D. degree in 4 years, which is the time left for my scholarship. Accordingly, I issued an official letter from NCSU stating that I need 6.5 years to get my Ph.D. and at the same time, I applied to Leeds University and I received an acceptance letter from the department of Biochemistry. I presented both documents to my sponsor and this time, things went smooth and I travelled directly from the USA to the UK in August 2000. I registered in October 2000 for my Ph.D., which I received in April 2005.
My stay in Leeds as a Ph.D. student
My stay in Leeds was like any normal Ph.D. student; my time was between my work for many hours in the laboratory and sometimes during the weekend. At the same time, I used to go regularly to the gym in Leeds University, play football and socialise with my colleagues at work and neighbours. When I first landed in Leeds, members from the Egyptian society in Leeds gave me a lift and helped me to get accommodation. A couple of weeks later, I moved close to Leeds University as I did not want to waste time in transportation. It was not easy to get good accommodation at a reasonable price in the vicinity of the University without the help of some friends as the prices in this area were high because of the high demand. I went to my laboratory and I started to learn Enzymology and grafting of Biopolymers, which were the main pillars for my Ph.D. I worked on 8 enzymes, which I immobilized onto natural biopolymers. My Ph.D. research area was in production of low-cost food and drugs using environmentally friendly green chemistry. My Ph.D. title was "Development of a Novel Matrix for the Immobilization of Enzymes for Biotechnology". Besides my studies, I worked as a demonstrator to 2nd year Biochemistry students and also as an Invigilator, then as a Chief Invigilator and finally as a Chief Supervisor in Leeds University Examination Office. It was so important and probably essential to increase my income as living close to Leeds University was quite expensive.
I received a fellowship from BYEF
In my last year of study, I was getting interesting results and I was so keen to continue my research and especially in the UK. I heard about the Bioscience Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowships (BYEF) from Yorkshire Forward, http://www.yorkshire-forward.com/. It was a competition among scientists from 3 cities, Leeds, York and Sheffield, and I was lucky to be awarded this prestigious fellowship. The grant was really good, £30,000 for one year. According to this fellowship, I paid from my own pocket money £500 to renew my visa, which I did on the 24th June 2005 as my existing visa was due to expire on the 30th of June 2005. I was granted a one year visa as a Highly Skilled Migrant www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/hsmp/.
My visit to Egypt on the 29th June 2005
In 2005, and after receiving my Ph.D., I decided for two reasons to visit Egypt for 6 weeks before starting the BYEF fellowship. Firstly, I did not see any of my family since 2002, with exception of my Mum who had visited me in 2004 and she stayed with me for 3 months during which we went to Saudi to perform Hajj as this was her dream. Secondly, I wanted to apply for a year off from my work to start the BYEF fellowship and to do so, I had to get my Ph.D. approved first from my government and then to request a one year off from the National Research Center, which I did on the 14th July 2005 (see attached). As a Ph.D. student sponsored from the Egyptian government, I was entitled for a free ticket and free shipping of all my stuff after receiving my Ph.D. degree, which I did on April 2005. However, after receiving the BYEF fellowship, there was no need to ship everything to my country as I was going to live for one more year in Leeds and definitely, I would need my belongings. Thus, after I renewed my visa for one year on the 24th June 2005, I decided to keep everything I have in my room in a shared flat with other 3 people at 22 St John's Terrace, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS3 1DY, as I was planning to return back to Leeds to start the fellowship. I remember that I left everything in my room including my PC, clothes, books and even some cash. My plan was to ship everything for free in one go through my government. I also paid for my flight from my money as I postponed the free flight from my government till I finished the fellowship.
How I was introduced to Jamal (Lindsey)?
Before travelling to Egypt for a holiday in June 2005, I was sharing a flat of 4 rooms in 22 St John's Terrace, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS3 1DY with 3 other people. The landlord of the building I lived in was a friend of mine and I was helping him to find people to rent the few accommodations he owned around Leeds University. In the last Ramadan of my stay in Leeds, I was making Itikaf for the last 10 days in Leeds Grand Mosque. We call it Itikaf, where people stay in the mosque the whole day and night to pray, read Quran, remember God and even break their fast. Of course, we had to clean the mosque as well, especially after eating and after sleeping, however, usually people do not speak that much to each other during Itikaf as it is sacred time for worshiping God. During Itikaf, I met a guy by the name of Jamal. He was British of Jamaican origin. He seemed to be a nice guy, he helped to tidy the mosque, he was also a quite person and so kind to the children as I saw him carrying them on his shoulders and they were happy with that as I could hear them laughing. A British couple who were my neighbours from 22 St John's Terrace said that they knew him and his British wife too. After Ramadan and when we were celebrating the feast, his wife brought his son Abdullah to celebrate the feast with us. So I got a good feeling about him especially as he was quite young, just 19 years old, yet had good manners.
How did I help Jamal in renting the flat in Alexandra Grove?
Time passed quickly and I never met or talked to Jamal again. Just few weeks before I left Leeds to Egypt, I met him in Leeds and he asked me if I could help him to find accommodation for him as he decided to move with his family for good to Leeds and that his wife was pregnant. I was not surprised to hear that as he had already mentioned to me his intention to move to Leeds when we met in Ramadan. So, we exchanged phone numbers with the hope I could assist him in finding a suitable flat. I asked my Landlord if he had something suitable for this family and he proposed to me the flat in 18 Alexandra Groove, LS6, which was 10 minutes from my flat in 22 St. John's Terrace in LS2.
It is important to note that the media said that I rented him my own flat before travelling. I never lived in 18 Alexandra Groove in LS6, they can easily ask any of the neighbours to confirm that. When I left the UK, I was sharing a room in a flat with 3 other people in LS2. It seems that they even did not ask my housemates.
A viewing was arranged but my landlord phoned me on the viewing day to say he couldn't make it and told me to show Jamal around the flat anyway. Jamal came to view the flat with another young man who I had not met before, he introduced him to me as Mohammed, who I later found out from the police to be Hassib. After the viewing Jamal then phoned my landlord from the flat to say that he wanted it and this is how Jamal rented the flat.
What did I do when I arrived in Cairo?
I travelled to Egypt on the 29th June 2005 and arrived on the 30th June. I stayed with my parents and my brother in their home in Cairo as I always do especially that I did not have my own accommodation yet. Without wasting time, I went to my work the next day at the National Research Center with a copy of my Ph.D. and requested them for a year off to start the BYEF fellowship, which I received from the UK. While I was very busy in the paperwork, I heard about the London 7/7 bomb attack and I was so upset as I considered England as my second home and I also was verbally engaged with a British lady, who is now my wife and the mother of my two sons. Time was so tight that I did not even have time to check my emails regularly or to watch the news as the procedure and paperwork were tedious and lengthy.
How I was arrested?
I was arrested on Thursday the 14th July 2005. I was praying in my local mosque as I usually do, when I finished the pray I felt a tap on my shoulder and when I looked around there were police officers waiting for me. They took me away in their car, I had no idea where they were taking me and I had no opportunity to tell my family. I did not know why they were taking me and they did not want to discuss it with me in the car.
When we arrived to a certain destination, they said to me that Scotland Yard are suspecting you to be behind the London bomb attack. I could not believe it and I said: "It is impossible" and they could tell from my face that I could not believe it at all. In a way to tell me that what they said is a fact, they turned the TV on and I saw people in London holding flags with my photos, only at that time did I realised that I was in big trouble and it was a nightmare to me. I tried to give them some verbal reasonable proofs to defend my case as I was not allowed to access anything, or to contact anybody as I was alone and powerless. Some of my defence were:
My Ph.D. studies were on biopolymers and enzymes which have nothing to do with bombs.
I never studied explosives and I have no idea on how to make bombs, and I never even tried for curiosity to know how.
I came to Egypt for a visit and I am living with my parents and I am not hiding.
I paid for a round trip from my own pocket money and if I did something like that why I paid for the round trip if I am not planning to return to the UK?
I have a fellowship from BYEF and I am supposed to start it in few weeks.
I went to my work at the NRC and I asked them officially for a year off to start the fellowship.
I left all my belonging in Leeds in a shared flat.
I renewed my visa few days before my travel and I paid £500 to renew my visa for a year.
I am already engaged verbally to a British lady and we are planning to marry once I return back to the UK.
I have a peaceful personality and I never hurt anybody.
Moreover, I said to them that this is against my beliefs, Islam, and I am knowledgeable enough to know that killing innocent people is forbidden in Islam. I also requested them to ask people who know me in Egypt, USA and the UK about my personality and they should confirm you that I am a quite and peaceful person.
Unfortunately, all of the logical proofs did not initially convince them as they were taken by the power of the media and especially that Scotland Yard was also involved.
How I was linked to London 7/7?
Believe it or not, it is all from my mobile number. Scotland Yard found my number in Jamal's mobile phone and I quote from an official letter from Scotland yard "at no time did we brief the media about these concerns. Members of the media established information about you through other sources subsequently publishing this information. As a result of this the Egyptian authorities arrested you". (See letter from Scotland Yard). The media magnified the case and in many occasions fabricated the rest.
When I was released?
I spent 28 days in the custody of the Egyptian police. I have to admit that they treated me with a respect, however the investigation was so terrible and I could not sleep at night. I was under a lot of pressure and at risk of the death penalty if they found me guilty, this is what I was told during the investigation. Moreover, I was alone and I had no body to support me except God. A few days after the investigation, the minister of interior declared that I had no link with Alqaeda, and a few days later they were sure that I had nothing to do with the London 7/7 and I was due to be released. However, one week after my arrest there was an attack in Sharm Elsheikh and also a non successful attack in London and as a result they kept me for longer since then as they were busy with these incidents. On the other hand, these attacks were supporting the idea that I am not behind the London 7/7 or any other attacks as I was in custody when these things were happening.
My life has been changed after I was released
I was worried to travel back to the UK
I was released on the 9th August 2005 at 3 am. I remember that day that I met people from the media from all over the world. I spoke to them in Arabic and in English and I started at 8 am in the morning till 8 pm. I had to tell people the truth as there was no one to tell them with exception of few media sites as the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jul/15/july7.uksecurity10). My parents were very sick and even my brother in-law had been diagnosed with diabetes from his worries about me. I was shocked to know that we had bad reputation as a result of the media. I told the media what I knew and how I was wrongly linked to London 7/7. I urged them to publish my release in the same way they published my arrest. Unfortunately, this was not the case as they only published a small hidden paragraph inside their papers whereas when I was arrested I was on the front page… this is the media. I recall that one of the international media advised me to stay in Egypt for one year before travelling to the UK as not everybody in the UK knows that I am innocent and some people in the street may hurt me if they did not know that I was innocent as the media coverage was weak. I was worried too much to travel back again and as a result, I missed the prestigious fellowship although they were so supportive to me and they sent me an official letter to extend my fellowship, they were so kind.
I got married to my British fiancée
My British fiancée visited me few times in Egypt after my release and she was very supportive. When she knew that I could not travel back to the UK, she decided to sell her car, leave her job and house and coming to Egypt to marry me and we got married in 2006. Now, we have two sons.
I was not allowed to travel abroad
One and half years later, I decided to travel and I had a good chance to travel to Kuwait, to attend the 1st international conference on patents. I was invited by Geneva to present my patent on novel carrier to produce drugs. Geneva was sponsoring the whole process and they paid for everything. After I have received my visa and the air ticket, I went to the airport and surprisingly, the officer at the airport did not allow me to travel! When I asked why, they said it is written on the computer that this is for your safety.
That was a shock to me and straight away I called the president of the National Research Center, Prof. Dr. Hany Elnazer, and I told him what happened and he was surprised too and he promised me to investigate why.
I decided to contact Scotland Yard officially
Prof. Dr. Hany Elnazer contacted the people in charge of my investigation in Egypt and they told him that they put my name on the list in all Egyptian's airports as they worried about my safety. They said that Scotland Yard may still want me and there is a chance I could be arrested while I am abroad, especially since Scotland Yard had not found the people responsible for the London 7/7 attacks. I asked them for how long I have to stay in Egypt and they replied till they found the mastermind. At that time, I decided to contact them myself to come to Cairo and to interview me in person in condition to issue me an official clearance letter. I have done that with the help of Prof. Hany Elnazer, who arranged for everything. He is a great guy and I do not know what to do without his help and support.
Scotland Yard arrived to Cairo to meet with me
I went to the High court and through them I met two officers from Scotland Yard and one from the British Embassy in Cairo in 2007. My British wife came as well with me and she met with them. For two days, I answered all their questions, over 100 questions, and they were very pleased with my honesty and for my voluntarily cooperation. Just before leaving, they requested my DNA samples and fingerprints. I was going to give it them, however, a friend of mine and a UK lawyer advised me do not do so as they were not sure of what they can do with the samples in the UK. They advised me to wait for one year and hopefully by that time Scotland Yard will have found the mastermind. So I apologized to the officers from Scotland Yard and they left the country with the hope to return back at any time when I agreed. I quote from the official letter that detective DS Hillier sent to me afterward: "These were to be compared to fingerprints and DNA that have been found at Alexandra Grove. It was hoped that we could use these samples to conclude beyond all doubt your involvement with the bombers was not criminal. Numerous people have assisted with this process so far and for you to provide such samples would greatly help in finally eliminating you from this investigation."
2008 passed and we started 2009 and Scotland Yard did not find the mastermind behind the London 7/7 yet. That was worrying me as I felt it could last for ever and my wife was struggling from travelling to visit her family alone with a child below the age of 3 years. I also had to give up some excellent chances to go abroad, which were important and essential for my career. At that time, I decided to ask Scotland Yard to come to Egypt and to take the samples for comparison. People from Scotland Yard arrived in 2009 and they took the DNA results, foot and fingerprints and they promised to give me the results within 2-3 months. However, that took them long time than I expected and I received a non official letter from DS Hillier in June 2010 and I quote: "I am pleased to inform you that your samples have now been checked against our DNA and Fingerprint database within the Theseus investigation. These checks have shown that neither your fingerprints nor DNA have been found on any item that is designated as significant to the investigation. This means that you are no longer under any scrutiny as part of the investigation. It is fully accepted that had no criminal role within the investigation and became unwittingly involved without any knowledge as to what was to take place."
I would like to express my thanks for your assistance with our investigations. I hope that this confirmation will help both you and your family in closing this chapter of your lives and wish you the best for the future. (see clearance letter # 2).
I have to thank DS Hillier for his support and help throughout the whole process. I am quite sure that this delay was out of his hands.
I received the official clearance letter from Scotland Yard
Only at the beginning of 2011 did I receive an official clearance letter from Superintendent Douglas McKenna in Scotland Yard (see clearance letters # 3). The letter was sent directly to the British Embassy and I received it from Detective Sergeant Dieter Cottrell who kindly stamped it for me. Without this stamp, I did not think that the Egyptian authorities would have accepted it. Furthermore, he kindly helped me to issue a police cheks from Britain.
Moreover, my clearance was officially published online on the website of the London 7/7 (http://julyseventh.co.uk/) (7_july_inquests_2011-03-03_pm-session.pdf) and I quote from the pdf file on page 3 & 4:
8 Q. She made also reference to somebody whom she described
9 as an Egyptian. One of the persons of interest --
10 that's to say persons of whom enquiries were made -- was
11 a man called Magdy El-Nasher, who held, I think, the
12 leasehold of the premises at 18 Alexandra Grove.
13 Were considerable enquiries, a considerable number
14 of enquiries, carried out in relation to him, in
15 particular in relation to whether or not he was part of
16 the conspiracy hatched at Alexandra Grove?
17 A. That's correct, extensive enquiries were made concerning
18 what part, if any, Mr Magdy El-Nasher may have played in
19 any conspiracy. He was eliminated from the enquiry
20 subsequent to the events of 7 July.
21 He was seen, a letter of request was sent to the
22 Egyptian authorities, he was interviewed in the presence
23 of officers from the Operation Theseus enquiry, he
24 agreed to provide voluntarily biometric samples, which
25 were compared against outstanding forensic samples and
1 he was eliminated from the enquiry.
2 Q. Was there subsequently a further interview process at
3 the request of the Metropolitan Police and, as a result
4 of those further interviews, was the assessment
5 unaltered, which was that he would, if he were to be in
6 this country, be considered to be a significant witness
7 rather than a suspect on the basis of the material then
9 A. That's correct, my Lady.
Finally, I had my clearance letter, now I could present it to the Egyptian authorities to free me. By coincidence, the Egyptian revolution was running at that time and I could not find someone responsible to help me. I was advised to wait for few months till Egypt stabilizes. That took me almost 6 months till I was able to meet the Minister of Interior, Major Mansour Essawy, who straightaway sent official letter to all airports to take my name off the list. A few days later, I was able to travel anywhere as a normal person.
Most recently, I received a clean police checks from both countries, Egypt and the UK, as attached.
I was wrongly linked to London 7/7 in 2005 and that was mainly because of the media. I lost a prestigious fellowship in the UK as a result of that. I also could not leave Egypt for the last 6 years until I received my clearance letter from Scotland Yard early 2011. Moreover, I am a scientist and unfortunately the media is still full of wrong and defaming articles on me instead of my scientific achievements. I whish one day I can get rid of this wrong information or to publish the clearance letters widely as well.
As a Muslim, we believe in destiny and we are always optimistic, so let's look at the bright part of the dilemma. God is Just and he is always there when we need Him. I met excellent and lawful people that were very supportive to me after that incident. My wife made a great sacrifice by leaving everything behind her and came to Egypt to marry me. Academically, I established the group of Biopolymers & Nanobiotechnology in the Center of Excellence at the National Research Center and I have my own school. I became very famous in Egypt and have an excellent reputation firstly as a result of the broadcasting media of London 7/7 and after that as a competitive scientist.
I am really grateful and thankful to God for everything he has done for me. There are also many people to thank, and without there support and help I would not be able to get my clearance letter and to fight for it. My sincere thanks and gratitude are to my parents, my brother, my sister and my brother in-law and to my wider family. I would like also to thank my patient wife for all the sacrifices she made and for her support. I also would like to thank Prof. Hany Elnazer, the ex-president of the NRC where I work. Also, Mr. Imran Khan my UK-lawyer, and his assistant Charlotte who supported me for many years on a pro bono scheme (free of charge). I have to thank DS Hillier from Scotland Yard for his honesty and help till I get the clearance letter. I have to thank as well Mr. Qasim El-Haq, my housemate and a professional lawyer, and Dr. Adel Elsayed my friend from Leeds University who were always supportive. My sincere thanks are to my friends Anwar, Zakaria, Nagy and Hazem, colleagues at work and neighbours whose support and company alleviated the pressure and feeling of being oppressed for that long. Thanks can not end as there are more people than I can count who were so kind to me during that hard time. Last but not least, my gratitude is always to God who is the Most Merciful and Just.
Finally, I am urging everyone who had the chance to get to my website, to read my story and to know the truth to spread my story to everyone he/she knows and especially to the media. I have been opressed by the media and I wish one day to see my scientific achievments coming first when someone googles my name instead of the wrong information about me.