British Seek Egyptian-Born Chemist In Connection With London Attacks
Friday, July 15, 2005
LONDON, July 14 -- British authorities investigating the attacks on London's transit system were searching Thursday for an Egyptian-born academic who recently taught chemistry in Leeds, the city in northern England where three of the suspected bombers lived, officials said.
British newspapers reported that Magdy Nashar, 33, had helped a friend rent an apartment in Leeds where police found explosive material earlier this week. Authorities said they had no evidence that Nashar helped in the attacks, which killed at least 54 people, but they wanted to question him. His whereabouts are unknown.
Nashar attended North Carolina State University for a semester in 2000, and the FBI confirmed Thursday that, at British officials' request, field agents were seeking to piece together his stay in the United States.
With the four bombers who perpetrated the attacks apparently dead, police were seeking to talk to anyone who might have knowledge of the plot or of people involved in it.
British investigators have said they now believe that one of the men who carried out the morning rush-hour attacks on three subway trains and a double-decker bus was a Jamaican-born Briton named Lindsey Germaine. Earlier reports had suggested that all four were British-born men of Pakistani descent.
Police searched Germaine's last-known residence in Aylesbury, a town about 40 miles northwest of London, according to British security officials.
On a day when the country paused at noon for two minutes of silence to honor the dead and injured, Britons got their first look at images of the youngest of the alleged bombers: Hasib Hussain, 18, who investigators say they believe blew up a No. 30 bus nearly an hour after the three synchronized explosions on subway trains.
Police released two photos, one of them a chilling image from a security video camera at the Luton train station north of London that showed a solemn Hussain carrying a large backpack at 7:20 on the morning of the bombings. Police say he and his three companions were on their way to King's Cross station in London hauling backpacks full of high-grade explosives.
Authorities pleaded for witnesses to come forward if they could describe Hussain's movements on the morning of the bombings and help explain why he bombed the bus rather than another subway train.
"Did you see this man at King's Cross?" Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist branch, said at a news briefing in remarks directed at the public. "Was he alone or with others? Do you know the route he took from the station? Did you see him get onto a No. 30 bus?"
Officials for the first time publicly confirmed the names of two suspected bombers -- Hussain, who they have concluded died on the bus, and Shehzad Tanweer, 22, who died in the subway train explosion at Aldgate station. They said that the bodies of both men had been identified but that police had not conclusively identified the body of a third, named by friends as Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30.
All three were British citizens of Pakistani origin who lived in Leeds, about 200 miles north of London. Police say they believe that the three and Germaine intended to kill themselves as well as their victims in what was Western Europe's first suicide bombing.