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First suspect in court over British car bomb plot
LONDON (Reuters) - An Iraqi-trained doctor appeared in court on Saturday in connection with failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow and was told he would stay in jail until his next court appearance, at the Old Bailey on July 27.
Bilal Abdulla, 27, was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions. He spoke only to confirm his name and address.
Abdulla is the only person charged so far over the suspected al Qaeda-linked plot in which eight Middle Eastern and Indian medics have been arrested, seven in Britain and one in Australia.
On Saturday police were granted an extra seven days to question five of the suspects who are being held in London.
Abdulla was arrested after a jeep crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport a week ago and burst into flames.
The father of suspect Kafeel Ahmed, 27, told the Times of India he had identified his son from television pictures.
Ahmed has been in hospital with 90 percent burns since the Glasgow attack -- witnesses say he set both himself and the crashed vehicles on fire.
"When we saw the footage of a person being carried to the hospital, followed by the blast and the police suspecting him to be the suicide bomber, we identified that he was our son," his father Maqbool Ahmed told the paper from Bangalore.
Kafeel's brother Sabeel, 26, was arrested in Liverpool, northwest England, later the same evening.
His father said Sabeel had been allowed by British police to call him every day since his arrest.
"Sabeel said he was treated well by the police and he has been cooperating with them," Maqbool Ahmed said.
"We enquired about Kafeel but he refused to speak about him or give any details."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Friday that investigations were "getting to the bottom" of the cell behind the failed bombings.
Brown's new security minister Admiral Alan West told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper he expected the battle against radicalization to be a long one.
"This is not a quick thing. I believe it will take 10 to 15 years," he said. "But I believe it can be done as long as we as a nation apply ourselves to it and it's done across the board."
Two car bombs primed to explode in London's bustling theatre and nightclub district were discovered the day before the Glasgow attack.
Although the London and Scottish attacks failed, they posed a test of nerve for Brown's new government in the first week after he replaced Tony Blair on June 27.
For four days, security officials raised Britain's national threat warning to its highest level, before lowering it one notch on Wednesday.
Leaders from the Muslim community held a closed-door meeting in London on Saturday to discuss a new declaration on tackling Islamic extremism and terrorism in Britain.
It was organized by the Muslim Council of Britain which said it wanted to send a clear message that ordinary Muslims opposed terrorism.
Earlier, survivors and relatives of victims of four suicide bombings on the London transport system that killed 52 commuters and injured hundreds more on July 7, 2005 held a quiet ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the attacks.
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