Key Glasgow car bombing suspect dies of wounds

Kafeel Ahmed suffered 90% burns after jeep driven into airport terminal.

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August 3, 2007 12:30
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A man who was critically burned when a Jeep he was in crashed into Glasgow Airport and burst into flames has died after more than a month in hospital, ending police hopes he might be questioned or charged over botched car bomb attacks there and in London. Kafeel Ahmed, 27, died Thursday at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, police said. He had been in critical condition since a Jeep Cherokee plowed into the passenger terminal at Scotland's busiest airport on June 30. The incident came a day after two Mercedes cars packed with gas canisters were discovered in central London. Witnesses saw Ahmed, an Indian engineer, set himself ablaze and struggle with police and passers-by who tried to put out the flames. He reportedly suffered burns to 90 percent of his body. Ahmed spent five weeks in a hospital, unconscious and under armed guard. He was a key suspect who police believed was at the center of the bomb plot, but was never officially arrested or charged. A member of Ahmed's medical team said last month there was little chance he would survive, because his severe burns left him vulnerable to infection and organ failure. "We can confirm that the man seriously injured during the course of the incident at Glasgow Airport on Saturday June 30 has died in Glasgow Royal Infirmary," said a spokesman for Strathclyde Police, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with force policy. The other man in the car, Iraqi doctor Bilal Abdullah, has been charged with conspiring to set off explosions "of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury." Three other people have been charged over the attacks, which prompted the government to raise Britain's threat status from "severe" to "critical," the highest level. It was reduced to severe about a week later. Jordanian doctor Mohammed Jamil Asha, arrested in his car on a highway in central England, is charged with conspiring to cause explosions. Kafeel Ahmed's brother, Sabeel Ahmed, 26, is charged with withholding information that could prevent an act of terrorism. He was arrested in Liverpool, England, on the day of the Glasgow attack. Mohamed Haneef, a 27-year-old cousin of the Ahmed brothers, was arrested and charged in Australia over the attacks. He was released after police were forced to admit they did not have enough evidence to hold him. Four other people were detained after the attacks, but later released without charge. Apart from Kafeel Ahmed, all were doctors or had worked for Britain's National Health Service. The same health service was criticized by some Britons for giving intensive and expensive medical care to a suspected terrorist. Scotland's government, the Scottish Executive, defended Ahmed's treatment. "It was perfectly right that he should have received the appropriate treatment our health service could offer as this reflects the value our society places on human life," a spokesman said on the government's customary condition of anonymity.


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