| Haneef’s wife Firdous Arshiya speaks to an Australian lawyer over phone from Bangalore. (AP)
London, July 6: Kafeel Ahmed, 27, the former Bangalore man who suffered 90 per cent burns when he doused himself in petrol and set himself alight at Glasgow airport last Saturday, has been moved into a specialist unit in a desperate attempt to save his life.
Kafeel, who was initially taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, has been transferred to a specialist burns unit Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he continues to be kept under armed guard.
NHS Greater Glasgow said the decision to move the patient was made on “entirely clinical grounds” by the team of specialists involved in his treatment.
Pictures were taken by members of the public with their mobile telephone cameras immediately after the flaming Jeep Cherokee was driven by Kafeel and his associate, Bilal Abdulla, into the terminal building at Glasgow airport. One shows Kafeel’s skin had peeled off.
Bilal was charged today with conspiring to cause explosions, Scotland Yard said.
The first reports had suggested that Kafeel was fighting for his life. If Kafeel survives, he will have to thank an off-duty police officer who helped put out the fire which had engulfed the alleged bomber.
Police constable Stewart Ferguson, 40, who had gone to the airport to pick up his parents when the drama unfolded, said: “It never entered my consciousness to walk away from the guy. I would have been failing in my duty. One of the primary duties of a police officer is to preserve life and it doesn’t matter whose life that is at the end of the day.”
It was initially thought that Kafeel was a medical doctor, but now it seems he has a doctorate in aeronautical engineering and had studied at Queen’s University in Belfast and Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge.
A spokeswoman from Anglia Ruskin University, formerly Anglia Polytechnic, said: “We are aware of media speculation about possible links between recent events at Glasgow airport and one of our research students. We are cooperating fully with the police in their enquiries. At this time identities are still unclear and it would be therefore inappropriate to comment further.”
To prevent a possible backlash, a number of Muslim groups in the UK today launched a campaign to distance themselves from terrorists. Out of the eight held, including one in Australia, six are being questioned at London’s high security Paddington Green police station.
The coalition calling itself Muslims United today took out advertisements in national newspapers condemning the attacks as contrary to the teachings of Islam.
Borrowing a phrase from British opponents of the Iraq war, the campaign is dubbed: “Not in Our name.”
It carries a quotation from the Quran: “Whoever kills an innocent soul, it is as if he killed the whole of mankind. And whoever saves one, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind.”
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said today he had met the explosives officers who defused the two London bombs. One of them reportedly disabled the device as the bombers were trying to detonate it remotely using a mobile phone.
The public faced a summer of intensified security checks, Brown conceded.
“Crowded places and airports, I think people will have to accept that the security will be more intense,” he said. “It is going to be difficult for people and I do think people will understand, but people will want (to know) first and foremost that they are going to be secure when they are in a crowded place.”