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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 19:41 GMT
Investigation into 'UK' suicide bomber
Wail al Dhaleai
Wail al Dhaleai was a martial arts enthusiast
The Foreign Office is investigating reports that a man from Sheffield carried out a suicide bomb attack on US troops in Iraq.

A Yemeni newspaper has reported that 22-year-old Wail al Dhaleai died during a bomb attack, although a date and location are not specified.

The report said his parents in the Yemen were called by Islamic fighters in Iraq telling them their son had killed himself.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said officials were investigating the reports.

According to a report in The Guardian, al Dhaleai moved to the UK three years ago.

He was a very quiet person who never used to interfere with anybody's problems
Omer Abdulquder, friend

He told friends he had been forced to leave his homeland after writing newspaper articles criticising the Yemeni government.

He was said to have married a British woman and the couple had a young son.

Last month, al Dhaleai is believed to have left Sheffield telling friends he was moving to the United Arab Emirates to start a new job.

Speaking to BBC Look North on Monday, Omer Abdulquder, of the Goodwill community centre in Sheffield, said Wail al Dhaleai taught tae kwon do at the centre.

'Always laughing'

He said: "Everybody is shocked about it. He was a very quiet person who never used to interfere with anybody's problems.

"He was a very nice person. He used to train our kids. He was very jolly and always laughing."

The Foreign Office confirmed it was investigating the reports that Mr al Dhaleai had been killed in Iraq.

South Yorkshire Police have refused to confirm al Dhaleai's home in Firth Park was one of a number of addresses targeted by anti-terrorist officers three weeks ago.

Neighbours said police officers spent a number of days at his home.

A police spokesman said: "We never comment on the background of people suspected of terrorism offences."

Q&A: Who are the bombers?
28 Oct 03  |  Middle East

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