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Brother of airport bomber jailed; deported

12.04.08

A young Indian doctor was been jailed yesterday for withholding information about the failed suicide car bomb attack on Glasgow Airport. Sabeel Ahmed, 26, who was living and working in Liverpool, appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday in relation to the June 30 terror attack. He pleaded guilty to withholding information from the police about the terrorist attack and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed, 27, Sabeel Ahmed’s engineer brother, were arrested after a flaming Jeep was driven into the doors of the arrivals hall of Glasgow Airport on June 30. The previous day, police found two cars laden with gas canisters and fuel in central London. Kafeel Ahmed died of burns suffered in the Glasgow attack.

Sabeel Ahmed, originally from Bangalore, India, was arrested near Liverpool's Lime Street station on June 30. When police searched his Liverpool home, they discovered a laptop carrying documents written by his brother and evidence he had accessed the files.

Kafeel, who had a PhD in engineering, suffered 90% burns and died of his injuries several weeks later. Two days before the Glasgow Airport attack, he sent an e-mail to Sabeel which directed his brother to online documents containing his will and instructions on how to frustrate and mislead investigators.

According Jonathan Laidlaw, prosecuting, Sabeel's older brother sent him a text message telling him to check his e-mails on the day of the attack. By the time he logged on, it had taken place and his brother was fighting for his life, having driven a burning Jeep into the airport.

As the 26-year-old stood in the dock at the Old Bailey, chilling details emerged of the Glasgow attack. His brother had determined to execute his plan when it could have had the most devastating effects - on the busiest day of the year at Scotland's busiest holiday airport

With the burden of knowledge came a dilemma for the young doctor - to tell or not to tell. He chose not to, and Mr Laidlaw said that he ‘did not exercise his right to silence’ but instead tried to mislead investigators.

Sabeel Ahmed was jailed for 18 months yesterday after pleading guilty to withholding information about the terrorist plot that ultimately led to his brother sacrificing his life. He was facing a maximum sentence of 5 years, but the sentence was reduced because he did not read the e-mail until after the attack had taken place.

He has already served half his sentence on remand, and has agreed to leave the country. He was to be released into the custody of the immigration service yesterday, to be deported back to India.

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