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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Bus bomb suspect family's shock
Ibrahim Muktar Said
Said's family had not seen him for months before the bombings
The family of suspected would-be bomber Ibrahim Muktar Said have said they were "shocked" to discover he was being hunted over the 21 July London attacks.

Said is wanted in connection with a blast on a No 26 bus in Hackney Road.

In a statement, the family of the 27-year-old said that as soon as they saw his picture on news reports they contacted police.

Superintendent Richard Freeman said the family had been "really, really co-operating" with the investigation.

Helping police

Said's family said they moved from Eritrea to the UK in 1990.

They said he left home in 1994, lives alone and is "not a close family member".

He had not visited them for months when police named him as a suspected attempted bomber, they added.

Family members said it had been a difficult time and they appealed to be left alone.

"The family wish to express their shock regarding recent events and in no way condone any acts of terrorism," the statement added.

Superintendent Freeman, of Harrow Police, said the family had been the first to contact police after the appeal.

'Evil spirits'

A neighbour of the family in Harrow, north west London, said she had known Said since he was 11, describing him as a "loner" .

Sarah Scott, 23, told BBC News: "He lived for his religion. He didn't do anything else. I never saw him with friends really. I'd see him going to the mosque all the time."

She told the Press Association that Ibrahim had tried to convert her to Islam in November 2004.

He talked about evil spirits, he said there were a lot of evil spirits around because everyone was evil around here
Sarah Scott

"He asked me if I was Christian or a Catholic because my family come from Ireland," she said.

"I said I was neither and that I was atheist. He said I should believe and that he was going to get me some information."

She said he gave her a pamphlet, Understanding Islam, with a passage highlighted.

It stated: "Anyone who says there is no God except Allah and dies holding to that will enter paradise."

Miss Scott added: "He talked about evil spirits, he said there were a lot of evil spirits around because everyone was evil around here."


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