Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 15:31 UK

Doctor admits car bombs charge

Sabeel Ahmed
Sabeel Ahmed admitted withholding information

The brother of a man who died after driving a car bomb into Glasgow Airport has admitted withholding information from police about the attack.

Sabeel Ahmed, 26, of Bangalore, India, pleaded guilty at London's Old Bailey.

The doctor was given an 18-month sentence - but will be freed immediately to be deported to India because of the time served on remand.

Ahmed's brother, Kafeel, wrote an email on the day of the attack - but the doctor did not disclose it to police.

Pray to Allah for acceptance of my deeds
Kafeel Ahmed

Kafeel Ahmed, who had a PhD in engineering, drove a burning Cherokee Jeep into the terminal building at Glasgow Airport, an attack watched by travellers who escaped serious injury.

He was arrested at the scene after being hosed down by an off-duty police officer - but he had already suffered 90% burns. He died in Glasgow Royal Infirmary on 2 August.

On Friday morning, the Old Bailey heard that Kafeel had texted Sabeel, a doctor who was based in Liverpool, shortly before the attack. It alerted Sabeel to a draft e-mail available to read online.

Goal achieved

Sabeel Ahmed opened the e-mail after the attack had taken place and learned of his brother's intentions, the court heard.

The car bomb that hit Glasgow Airport
Car bomb: Driven by Kafeel Ahmed

In the e-mail, Kafeel Ahmed said he would have achieved his goal by the time the message had been read.

It also pointed out he had not said anything beforehand for the safety of both his brother and the "project".

He appealed to his brother to keep it secret for as long as possible and to appear shocked if told of what had happened.

He suggested telling people that he had gone to Iceland as part of a research project on global warming.

Prosecuting, Jonathan Laidlaw told the court the e-mail amounted to instructions from Kafeel to frustrate the police - and that it would have been of "considerable assistance" to the authorities had it been handed over immediately.

"After the attack in Glasgow, he came into possession of significant information about the attack and those responsible for it.

"Thereafter he failed to make the required, or any, disclosure and he had, as his plea of guilty now demonstrates, no reasonable excuse for that failing."

Attack on airport

Mr Laidlaw told the court that Kafeel Ahmed's attack on Glasgow Airport had been intended as a "suicide mission" after the failure of the previous days' car bombs in London.

Kafeel Ahmed
Kafeel Ahmed: Texted brother before he attacked

Those attacks had failed because of technical faults in the design of the devices which relied on remote detonation by mobile phone. The mechanism had probably failed because of the smothering effect of petrol vapour, he said.

Turning to Glasgow, Mr Laidlaw said: "When outside the terminal, Kafeel Ahmed turned the vehicle sharply and crashed it into the pillars to the right hand side of one of the entrance doors.

"He then, having found himself from his perspective out of position, reversed the Jeep and made the first of a number of attempts to drive the vehicle through the airport door, repeatedly hitting pillars and the door frame.

"Despite his efforts, the vehicle became trapped. Those who witnessed him described a set and determined face as he stared forward. At that point the vehicle was then 20 feet from passengers queuing within the terminal building."

Mr Laidlaw said that Kafeel poured fuel outside the car window, was engulfed in flames and appeared to try to prevent others from getting near him or the Jeep.

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