Tuesday, July 26, 2005

two suspects in July 21 London bombing ... their Africa connection

Oh my God!

Two suspects identifed by police in connection with last Thursday's attempted transit bombing are originally from Eritrea and Somalia ...
[Muktar Said Ibrahim ... aka Muktar Mohammed Said] He was born in Eritrea in war-torn eastern Africa but grew up in Britain after arriving in 1992 as the son of an asylum-seeker. He applied for a full British passport two years ago and received it last September.

For the past two years, Said-Ibrahim was thought to have lived with Yasin Hassan Omar, the man suspected of trying to blow up a Victoria Line train near Warren Street, in a flat in Bounds Green, North London, raided by police yesterday. Police sources said a large amount of materials suitable for making bombs was found in the flat.

Yasin Hassan Omar is said to be a Somali national who entered the UK in 1992 aged 11 as the child of an asylum seeker, and was granted leave to remain indefinitely in May 2000. (source)
UPDATE: Reports say that a third suspect arrested in Italy is also African ... Ethiopian, to be exact.
Born in Ethiopia as Hamdi Issac, the suspect changed his name to Osman Hussain and claimed he was from Somalia [to obtain political refugee status], said Carlo De Stefano, head of Italy's anti-terror police. (source)
A curious detail in that AP story ...
On Friday, police recorded conversations in which Issac talked in an Ethiopian dialect used in a border region between Eritrea and Somalia; they sent the recordings to London, which helped confirm his identity.
I'm guessing "Eritrea" is a typo because Eritrea and Somalia do not have a common border. Djibouti is in the way.