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Suspects' house in Scotland searched

Police believe they may have built the bombs used in Glasgow and London there. Attacks on Asians are reported.

July 06, 2007|From the Associated Press

LONDON — Police on Thursday searched a house in Scotland that may have been where the bombs were produced for attempted terrorist attacks in London and at Glasgow Airport, officials and news reports said.

Community leaders in Scotland appealed for calm after Glasgow police said there had been dozens of racially motivated incidents since the attack on the airport Saturday in which two men crashed a gasoline-laden Jeep Cherokee into an entrance to the main terminal.

The attack came the day after two car bombs were found in London.

At least two of the eight suspects detained so far rented a house a few miles from the airport, several British news outlets reported, citing unidentified sources.

The two men slept upstairs and used the downstairs as a bomb factory, the media said. Officials would not confirm or deny the reports.

Denis O'Donnell of the local Paisley Cab Co. said that his taxis had picked up suspect Bilal Abdullah, an Iraqi physician, from the house nearly 20 times since May.

Neighbor Susan Hay said police had told her they were "stripping" the home Thursday morning to look for fingerprints and other forensic materials. A large tent hung over the garage.

Two of the eight suspects were arrested at staff housing at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where Abdullah worked.

With all the suspects connected to the medical profession, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has ordered an investigation of the procedures for recruiting foreign doctors for the National Health Service, which Health Secretary Alan Johnson promised would be done "very quickly."

Johnson told BBC radio that the health service would be looking at "what more we need to do between striking a balance between ensuring that we have people with the right skills in this country to make sure the NHS works properly and how we ensure we have a proper oversight of security."

A British security official said authorities were investigating whether there were any people who may have on the peripheries of the plot still at large. The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

There have been 38 racist incidents in the Glasgow area since the attack, including the burning of a South Asian-owned shop in Glasgow, police said. There were no serious injuries.

Muslim community leader Bashir Maan appealed for calm.

"We must remember these people were not from Scotland," he said of the suspects in custody.

Also Thursday, a subway train derailed in the capital during rush hour, leaving at least 37 people with minor injuries. Transport authorities believe the mishap was caused by an obstruction on the tracks.

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