02/07/2007

Two more arrested over attempted car bombings

Police investigating the attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow airport have arrested two more people.

Two men, aged 28 and 25, were arrested in the Paisley area, west of Glasgow on Sunday night

Five people are still being held in connection with the attacks, but it is believed that at least one suspect remains on the run.

According to reports, at least one of the men arrested at the weekend is a qualified medical doctor. It is also believed that none of those arrested is of British origin.

The arrests came after two attempted car bombings - one in London and one at Glasgow airport.

The attempted attacks on London happened on Friday. Two Mercedes cars, containing petrol, gas cylinders and nails, were found in London's West End - one outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in The Haymarket and the other in a nearby street.

The attempted attack on Glasgow Airport took place on Saturday afternoon when a blazing Jeep Cherokee, loaded with gas cylinders, crashed into the doors of the airport's main terminal.

One of the men was on fire when the jeep crashed and left the vehicle, but was restrained by passengers and the police. He is now being treated in hospital for burns.

Later on Saturday, a controlled explosion was carried out on a car parked in the grounds of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where the injured suspect was taken from treatment.

Strathclyde Police said that they believed that the car was connected to the airport attack, but said that it had not contained explosives.

Both attacks are being linked by police.

The second person in the Jeep - a 27-year-old man - is being held in police custody.

Two people - a 26-year-old man, who has been named in reports as Dr Mohammed Asha, and a 27-year-old woman believed to be his wife - were arrested on the M6 later on Saturday in connection with the attacks and are being questioned at London's high-security Paddington Green police station.

A 26-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attacks in Liverpool on Sunday. He is currently being held at a Merseyside police station.

Police are searching properties in Chesterton and Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, while properties in Houston, Renfrewshire, near Glasgow are also being searched.

Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said that the links between the attempted car bombings was becoming "ever clearer".

He said that police were shifting through thousands of hours of CCTV footage and that new lines of inquiry were being pursued.

Police have also appealed for information on the movements of the Jeep - registration number L808 RDT - prior to the incident at Glasgow airport.

The terror alert in Britain has now been raised to 'critical', meaning that an attack is expected imminently.

Commuters and air travellers have been warned to expect extra delays to their journeys, with intense security checks taking place at airports and transport hubs.

Security has also been increased at the Wimbeldon tennis championships, which are currently underway in the capital.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Anti-Terrorism hotline on: 0800 789321.

(KMcA)

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