BRISBANE, Australia -- Australian federal police yesterday charged an Indian doctor with providing support to a terrorist organization, linking him to last month's failed British bombings.
Muhammad Haneef, 27, is the second person to be charged over the botched attacks on London and Glasgow on June 29 and 30. The other is Bilal Abdullah, who is being held in London on charges of conspiring to set off explosions.
Haneef "has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organization," police said in a statement. He was connected to the plot after he allegedly transferred a mobile phone account to another suspect, the police said.
Haneef, who has been held for 12 days, was expected to appear later in the day in Brisbane court. The maximum penalty is 15 years in prison.
Police have been investigating possible links between Haneef and some of the other suspects held in connection with two bomb-laden cars found in London on June 29 and an attack on an airport in Glasgow, the next day.
Haneef who came to Australia from Britain last year to work in a hospital on the Gold Coast northeast of Sydney, is a distant cousin of Kafeel and Sabeel Ahmed, two of the suspects held in Britain.
The three reportedly shared a house in the British city of Liverpool for up to two years before Haneef moved to Australia, and remained in contact after that.
Australian officials have said that Haneef was arrested after his mobile SIM card was found in the possession of one of the British suspects, later identified as Sabeel Ahmed, a 26-year-old doctor being questioned by British police.
Official documents cited by The Australian newspaper yesterday said Haneef gave the SIM card to Sabeel Ahmed before he moved to Australia from Britain last year so his cousin could take advantage of free minutes left on his plan.
Neither Kafeel nor Sabeel Ahmed have been formally charged. But British prosecutors say Kafeel Ahmed is suspected of crashing a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas canisters and gasoline into the Glasgow airport June 30, then setting himself on fire.