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Australian NRI Dr. arrested in connection with a British bomb plot,
blames a mobile phone SIM card


Australia, July 07, 2007
Abrar Alvi

In connection with the terror attacks in London, NRI Dr Mohammed Haneef, 27, Indian citizen, was arrested on July 02, at the Brisbane Airport while trying to board a plane to India with a one-way ticket. The police traced calls between his phone and that of at least one of the other bomb plot suspects. This call was lengthy conversation and possible that his friend in UK tipped off that the police might after him

His brother, Shoaib says that Haneef was returning to India to see his infant daughter and niece.

His father-in-law Afshaq Ahmed said, Dr Haneef gave the card to a friend before he left Britain last year for Australia. A SIM, or subscriber identity module, card is a removable card for mobile phones, allowing a user to change phones by removing the card from one mobile and inserting it into another.

He wanted to take his wife and daughter to Australia after getting the infant a passport, and so traveled without a return ticket. The police became suspicious that he was fleeing Australia.

The police have also arrested seven people and most of them in medical field in UK:

  • NRI, Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, 26, working at the Warrington Hospital in Liverpool. He is from Bangalore
  • Dr. Bilal Talal Samad Abdullah, diabetes specialist at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. He is from Iraq
  • Dr. Mohammad Asha, 26. is of Palestinian descent but grew up in Jordan.
  • Dr. Mohammad Asha's wife Marwah Dana Asha, a laboratory researcher.
  • Kafeel Ahmed with 90 percent burns due to the car blaze. It is not confirmed, he is a doctor or other profession
  • Two more unnamed medical student

NRIs in Australia are very concerned about Dr Haneef's arrest. There may possible backlash against NRIs:

Dr. Sunder Nath from Sydney said that we are more than 230,00 NRIs in Australia, had a great respect but now people are looking us as a terrorist. In every society there are stereotyped people, now it is getting worse for us in Australia.

Sant Singh, a hotel owner said, the federal government will make some changes in immigration. These changes may be made to security procedures for the people who are applying for working visas in Australia. NRI Doctors are making good money in these countries, now I am in fear that patient will make a choice to go to other non-immigrant doctors.



  • Dr Mohammed Haneef was employed at the Gold Coast Hospital in south-east Queensland.
  • Haneef graduated from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore from 1997-2002.
  • In 2005, Haneef had worked as a locum doctor at the Halton Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire.
  • He also worked at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after coming to the UK from Bangalore.