New details have emerged of alleged terrorist links between some of the eight suspects arrested in connection with the terror plots in London and Glasgow during the past week.
Several of the suspects were connected to radical extremists in the database of MI5, Britain's intelligence agency, before the failed car bombings. Despite these links, however, it's not clear how much MI5 actually knew about these individuals.
A senior al Qaeda figure in Iraq warned a British cleric in April of plans to target the United Kingdom, according to The Times of London. Canon Andrew White, who runs Baghdad's only Anglican parish, told the newspaper that the unnamed al Qaeda leader had boasted, "Those who cure you will kill you."
This cryptic comment appears chillingly prescient, as all eight arrested suspects have at some point worked for Britain's National Health Service. Seven are reported to be doctors or medical students, and one a former laboratory technician.
Bilal Abdulla, 27, has been identified as the passenger of the Jeep that crashed into the main terminal at Glasgow Airport and burst into flames. He was detained and arrested at the time of the attack.
Abdulla is an Iraqi doctor who worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. Although he was born in Aylesbury, England, he grew up in Baghdad and graduated from Baghdad Medical College in 2004. Doctors who went to college with Abdulla told ABC News he was a religious activist with many radical ideas that prompted classmates to keep a distance.
Shiraz Maher, a former member of a radical Islamic group, studied with Abdulla when the two were at Cambridge University in 2004.
"He supported the insurgency in Iraq. He actively cheered the deaths of British and American troops in Iraq," Maher said in an interview on BBC's "Newsnight." "He believed in the creation of an Islamic state, and in the imposition of sharia law in Iraq and eventually across the entire world."
Maher said Abdulla berated fellow Muslims for un-Islamic behavior. He told how Abdulla had showed him a beheading video and warned that was what happened to people who were not devout. He also said Abdulla was a fervent admirer of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Co-workers from Royal Alexandra Hospital described Abdulla as a slacker who often called in sick and recently spent a lot of time surfing Islamic or Arabic Web sites while on duty, The Evening Standard reported.
Khafil Ahmed, 26, is alleged to have been the driver of the Jeep. Like Abdulla, he reportedly worked as a doctor at Royal Alexandra Hospital, where he is now being treated for the burns he sustained in the attack. He remains in critical condition and under armed guard.
British authorities believe that Khafil Ahmed and Sabeel Ahmed are possibly related.
Mohammed Asha, 26, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian descent, was arrested on the M6 highway near Sandbach in northwest England. Asha studied medicine in Jordan and graduated at the top of his class from Jordan University's medical school in 2004. He won a scholarship to study neurology at Birmingham University and moved to England with his wife in 2005. After one year of training, he took up employment at the North Staffordshire Hospital.
Although family in Jordan described Asha as not particularly religious or political, one friend told the Daily Mirror he noticed Asha had changed after moving to Britain.