Page last updated at 20:11 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 21:11 UK

The men accused of car bomb plot

The backgrounds of the three men alleged to have been behind a plot to explode car bombs in London and at Glasgow airport last year have been outlined by prosecutors, who have opened their case against them at Woolwich Crown Court.


Bilal Abdulla is an Iraqi citizen. He was born in the UK on 24 August 1979, but when he was five his family returned to Baghdad, where he was educated.

Bilal Abdulla

He studied medicine at the University of Baghdad and graduated in 2004.

He returned to the UK later that year to study in Cambridge for exams that would enable him to continue training and work in the country, the court heard.

When Dr Abdulla was in Cambridge, he lived at Chesterton Road, near where another alleged plotter Kafeel Ahmed was residing at the time.

Dr Abdulla visited Iraq between May and July 2006 and in August of the same year joined the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Scotland, as a junior house officer in general surgery.

Dr Abdulla was described as a strictly observant Muslim, who was knowledgeable about the Koran.

Prosecutors said Dr Abdulla and Mr Ahmed rented a house with a garage in a quiet residential suburb in Neuk Crescent, Houston, on the outskirts of Glasgow, to use as a bomb factory.

Dr Abdulla, who was arrested at Glasgow airport on 30 June 2007, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.


Mohammed Asha is a Jordanian who was born in Saudi Arabia on 16 September 1980.

He was said to be a gifted child and won a scholarship to study medicine at the University of Amman in Jordan.

Mohammed Asha

During 2003, he undertook training at the UK's Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, before returning to Jordan, the jury was told.

It was while in the UK that he apparently met Bilal Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed for the first time.

He graduated in Jordan in 2004 and then returned to Britain to train at the Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli. He then joined the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in August 2005.

At the time of the attacks in June 2007, Dr Asha was employed as a senior house officer in the neurology department at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He was living in Sunningdale Grove, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

He was due to go on holiday in Jordan with his family in mid-July last year, before taking up a post in neurosurgery at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.

Dr Asha was described as a strictly observant Muslim.

Prosecutors said he was understood to be "an extremely talented doctor and a man of considerable potential".

Dr Asha, who was arrested on the M6 motorway in Cheshire on 30 June 2007, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.


Kafeel Ahmed died in hospital from burns four weeks after a Jeep laden with petrol and gas canisters had crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow Airport.

Kafeel Ahmed

He was born on 17 January 1979, making him 28 at the time of his death.

Mr Ahmed grew up in Bangalore in India and was from a medical family. Both his parents and a brother, Sabeel, worked in the profession.

He studied mechanical engineering at university in India before attending Queen's College in Belfast, between 2001 and 2003, to take a masters in aeronautical engineering.

He then began a three-year doctorate at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge but his studies were cut short because of a family illness and he returned to India in June 2005.

He continued his PHD studies in India and came back to the UK in September 2006 and May 2007.

Mr Ahmed met the two defendants in Cambridge while living at a property in Gilbert Road owned by a charity called The Islamic Academy.

Prosecutors said there were occasions when they prayed together and friendships were formed.

He was arrested at Glasgow airport on 30 June 2007.

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