The Physicians Plot British Police Hunt the Terror Doctors

The investigation into the thwarted terror attacks in Great Britain has revealed an uncomfortable new pattern in terrorism: Most of those arrested were doctors or trainee medics. Now thousands of foreign doctors living in the UK are under suspicion.

By in Glasgow

British police are on the hunt for a cell of doctors who have carried out terrorist attacks.

British police are on the hunt for a cell of doctors who have carried out terrorist attacks.

His neighbors in Neuk Crescent didn’t notice much about Bilal Abdulla. They only saw the young man entering and leaving his small gray terraced house every now and then. Sometimes he washed his car or arrived home in the evening with shopping bags. They weren’t sure exactly what he did for a living.

And they didn't think twice about it either. The green clothes and stethoscope around his neck identified him clearly as a medic. He had completed his medical training at the University of Baghdad in 2004, and then came to Great Britain. "If I had had any medical problems, I might have gone over to him," says one neighbor. But she didn’t know where he worked. "Who wouldn’t trust a doctor, who helps other people?"

Images of the very same Dr. Abdulla have now been splashed across every front page in the British press. He was captured by an amateur filmmaker being held by two police officers after the attempted attack on Glasgow Airport on Saturday. Only a few minutes earlier he was a passenger in a green Jeep Cherokee being driven by an unidentified man. The car was packed with gasoline and propane canisters and then rammed into the entrance hall in Terminal 1. His accomplice was badly injured in the botched attack, having sustained severe burns. If the two men had made it into the entrance hall, most likely hundreds of holidaymakers and other passengers would have been killed.

All the British papers, whether serious or alarmist, led with the same story on Tuesday: the "Doctors of Death." After all, Dr. Abdulla is not the only doctor among the suspects in the London and Glasgow attacks. After three days of investigations the British police are reaching the conclusion that the whole plot was hatched by foreign doctors, who had come to Britain and had not been noticed by anyone.

As absurd as the idea of a terrorist doctor cell sounds at first, the evidence has increasingly mounted to indicate that the professions of the eight detainees is exactly what forms the crucial link.

The authorities suspect that the mastermind was a Palestinian with a Jordanian passport, Dr. Mohammad Asha. He was arrested along with his wife on Saturday on the M6 motorway. Clues found in the two unexploded car bombs discovered in London last Friday lead to the neurologist, who worked in the midlands and also had an office at a clinic near Glasgow. He is currently being questioned in London.


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