Police in Britain Release Names Of Two Suspects

London Bombing Suspects
Scotland Yard released these images of two bombing suspects: Muktar Mohammed Said (left) and Yasin Hassan Omar (right). (AFP and AP Photos)
By Glenn Frankel
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

LONDON, July 25 -- Police disclosed the names Monday of two of the suspects in last week's abortive bombings here and made a new plea to the public to assist the massive manhunt to catch the fugitives before they strike again.

Investigators raided an apartment in north London that neighbors said had been occupied by one of the suspects, named by police as Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, also known as Muktar Mohammed Said. Police named the other suspect as Yasin Hassan Omar, 24.

Detectives said they had arrested two more suspects in north London under anti-terrorism laws, bringing to five the number in custody.

Meanwhile, an inquest into the mistaken killing of a Brazilian electrician by anti-terror police last week in a subway car revealed that the man was shot seven times in the head, not five as previously reported, and once in the shoulder. The head was targeted in an apparent attempt to prevent him from detonating explosives the officers wrongly feared were hidden on his body.

Prime Minister Tony Blair added his apology Monday to those of other officials while defending the shoot-to-kill policy that led to the slaying.

Police identified Ibrahim as the man suspected of setting off a detonator in a gray backpack containing explosives at midday Thursday on a double-decker bus in east London. The bomb failed to explode and Ibrahim fled the scene, according to the police account.

Three other men attempted to set off bombs in three subway trains about the same time in attacks that echoed the bombings on London's public transit system two weeks earlier that killed 56 people, including the four assailants. Investigators believe that the two attacks are linked and that leaders of the two cells of bombers might have met in northern Wales in early June to coordinate their plans.

Detectives have questioned Ibrahim's father and several family members, who were unable to tell them the suspect's whereabouts but provided a document with a photo of the man that the authorities released Monday, according to a confidential police source.

Family members, who live in a public housing complex in north London, refused to answer a reporter's questions Monday evening. Neighbors said that the family was of Somali ethnic origin and had lived in the complex as long as a decade, but that the son no longer lived there.

Police officials privately expressed frustration that they had not been able to find the four fugitives and that they had gathered enough information only to issue a reliable identification of two of them. "Someone somewhere knows these guys," said a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They really need to come forward now."

According to the official account released Monday, three of the suspects entered the Stockwell subway station in south London just before 12:25 p.m. Thursday, then set off for their targets.

The first man, who has not been named, attempted to set off a backpack of explosives on a Northern Line train heading toward the Oval station. When it failed to explode, he got out at the station and ran, chased by "extraordinarily brave members of the public who tried to detain him," according to police. But the man escaped into the nearby Brixton area, where he jettisoned a sweat shirt bearing the words "New York."

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