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Australia files charges in bomb plots

July 14, 2007|From the Associated Press

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — Australian police charged an Indian doctor today in connection with the failed car bomb attacks in Britain two weeks ago.

Mohammed Haneef, 27, was charged with providing support to a terrorist organization, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Authorities say he "recklessly" gave a member of the group his cellphone SIM card before he moved to Australia last year.

Australian police arrested Haneef on July 2 after his cellphone's SIM card was found in the possession of one of the men accused in the failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow, Scotland.

Media reports later identified the man as Sabeel Ahmed, a distant cousin of Haneef who is being questioned by British police about the plot.

"The specific allegation involves recklessness rather than intention," Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty told reporters in the capital, Canberra. He said Haneef had been "reckless" in supporting the alleged terrorist cell, "in particular the provision of his SIM card for the use of the group."

Haneef, who came to Australia from Britain last year to work in a Queensland state hospital, is the second person to be charged in the plot. Bilal Abdullah is accused of conspiring to set off explosions in Britain.

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