Egypt: Biochemist not al-Qaida linked

The Egyptian Interior Ministry has said an Egyptian citizen arrested in Cairo in connection with bombings in London last week has no links to the al-Qaida network.

    The London blasts claimed the lives of 55 people

    In a statement published on Saturday in the daily al-Gumhuriya newspaper, minister Habib al-Adly said media reports about Magdy Mustafa El-Nashar, 33, were unfounded, hasty deductions.

    Al-Adly said: "The reports that British officers had interrogated him before Egyptian officials lacked details." He did not rule out that British investigators had taken part in the questioning.

    The ministry had announced on Friday that El-Nashar was being questioned in connection with the recent bombings in London.
     
    An interior ministry statement said the suspect had denied any involvement in the London bombings.

    "He said he had gone to Britain to study at Leeds University and has resided in Britain since 2000 until now to obtain his doctorate, which he did earlier this year.

    "He said he had come back to Egypt for a month and a half holiday and was planning to go back to Britain to resume his studies and that all his belongings are still in his flat in Leeds" the statement said, adding that the investigation would be ongoing.

    British police aware

    The suspect, who studies in 
    England, was on holiday in Egypt

    El-Nashar was taken into custody late on Thursday in Cairo's southern suburb of Maadi, in the working class neighbourhood of Bassatin, security sources said on Friday.

    The Egyptian interior ministry said El-Nashar had obtained a Bachelor of Science in 1994 from Cairo University and has been a researcher at the National Research Council.

    British police said on Friday they were aware of an arrest in Egypt in connection with the investigation into last week's London bombings.

    "We are aware of an arrest made in Cairo but are not prepared to discuss if we may or may not wish to interview (the person) in connection with this investigation," a spokesperson for London's Metropolitan Police said.

    Death toll rises

    Meanwhile in London, the Metropolitan Police announced that the death toll from last week's London bombings had risen to 55 after another victim died in hospital overnight.

     

    It was not immediately clear which of the four blasts the victim was involved in, a spokeswoman for the force said. The spokeswoman gave no details of the victim's identity.

    SOURCE: AFP


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