Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Behind the London-Glasgow plot

LONDON AND GLASGOW ATTACKS

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The two men responsible for the attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow in June 2007 are believed to have met in Cambridge, UK, where they worked or studied at different times. Bilal Abdulla had studied medicine and was working as a doctor while Kafeel Ahmed, who died from injuries sustained in the Glasgow attack, had studied mechanical and aeronautical engineering.

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E-mail and mobile phone conversations show the men get in touch in February 2007. Receipts and CCTV images show Kafeel Ahmed buying components for an improvised bomb, including nails, from hardware store B&Q. Property is rented in Glasgow and Ahmed flies in from India in May. They are alleged to have carried out reconnaissance in London.

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Police believe the men bought the second-hand cars in different locations across the UK so they could hide their movements. The green and blue Mercedes were used in the London attempt and the Jeep was used to attack Glasgow airport.
A silver Vauxhall was left at Liverpool airport and a white BMW was later found parked at Royal Alexandra hospital, Paisley - where Abdulla worked.

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At the men's base in Scotland, the two Mercedes are loaded with gas canisters on the back seats; hundreds of nails and petrol cans in the boot. Mobile phones, shown to have been used by Abdulla days before the attacks, are used to form triggers attached to improvised detonator.

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Ahmed and Abdulla leave Scotland in the two Mercedes on 28 June. CCTV images record the men as they fill up with petrol at London Gateway Services before reaching the West End of London at 0039 on 29 June. [Image of blue Mercedes shows vehicle as later recovered by police]

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At 0039 the cars are recorded by cameras at Marble Arch. The men spend the next 45 minutes driving around the West End. At 0124, Bilal Abdulla parks the green Mercedes outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub.

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A few minutes earlier at 0117, Kafeel Ahmed leaves the blue Mercedes on nearby Cockspur Street, with the possible intention of catching people fleeing the planned Tiger Tiger blast in a second explosion.

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At about 0130 the men are seen leaving the Soho area in a rickshaw heading towards Edgware Road.

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Police later discover 15 calls have been made to the mobile phones rigged up to act as detonators in the devices. The bombs fail to explode and are discovered by emergency services.

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The men stay at the Newham Hotel, Romford Road, before leaving London by train via Stansted. They are caught on CCTV camera arriving at Johnstone station, near Glasgow.

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The men go to the "bomb factory" at Neuk Crescent where they turn the Jeep into an improvised suicide car bomb by filling it with fuel and gas canisters, petrol bombs and knives.

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By the early hours of 30 June, the police were closing in on the two bombers. They were unsure who they were, but had linked mobiles phones to the bomb factory and had a fix on the phones the men were still carrying. After filling the Jeep with explosive material, the men leave the house early on Saturday morning and drive around the Loch Lomond area for eight hours.

The phones were identified on the network as they moved from one cell site to another between Houston, Loch Lomond and Glasgow's outskirts. Undercover officers were closing in, but did not know what kind of car the men were in.

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Later on 30 June, Kafeel Ahmed tries to drive the Jeep though main doors of Glasgow Airport's main terminal building. But the car gets stuck on a steel block.

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Aborting their original plan, the men pour petrol over inside of car and light it.

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They get out of the Jeep; Ahmed is alight and trying to throw petrol bombs. The men are brought down by members of the public.

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Abdulla (above) and Ahmed are arrested at the scene. Ahmed receives 90% burns in the attack. He would die in hospital four weeks later.

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The attack causes severe damage to the airport entrance, but no-one is injured. Police remove unexploded gas canisters from the back of the vehicle.

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Police search the "bomb factory" at Neuk Crescent. Scattered on floors and tables are circuit boards, mobile phones, wiring, soldering iron, batteries, plastic gloves and syringes used to make the bombs. Four pay-as-you-go Nokia mobile phones, similar to those found in the Mercedes, are also discovered.

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