2 suspects named in failed U.K. attack

Police raid apartment linked to bus incident

public is asked for help

July 26, 2005|By Sebastian Rotella and Ralph Frammolino | Sebastian Rotella and Ralph Frammolino,LOS ANGELES TIMES

LONDON - Police disclosed the names of two fugitives yesterday who are wanted for allegedly trying to bomb a bus and a subway train last week. Authorities also stormed an apartment in a north London housing project where neighbors said they had frequently seen the two men.

Scotland Yard's announcement indicated that police are making some progress as they race to prevent more attacks in a city on edge, but they appealed once again for the public's help in finding four suspects who remain at large. Investigators believe the plot, in which the bombs carried onto three Underground trains and a bus failed to explode, was a follow-up to a strike July 7 that killed 56 people.

Police raided an apartment at about 2 a.m. yesterday that they linked to the suspect who tried to bomb a double-decker bus.

Later in the day, Scotland Yard publicly identified the fugitive as Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, also known as Muktar Mohamed Said. Just before the attempted bombing, a security camera on the bus captured an image of Said wearing a baseball-style cap, a T-shirt with a palm-tree motif and a dark jacket. Police also provided a second picture of him that they said came from an identity document.

Police named the second suspect as Yasin Hassan Omar, 24. He is a dark-skinned man in a blue shirt filmed from above by a security camera soon before he allegedly tried to ignite a knapsack bomb on a subway train near Warren Street train station, police said.

Police did not reveal nationalities of the men or other details.

Said "was associated with, and has recently visited" the apartment building in north London that was stormed by police early yesterday, said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke.

But as children and curious residents milled around outside the public housing complex later in the day, a woman and her daughter said they recognized both Said and Omar from photographs that were released by authorities.

The two fugitives either lived in or regularly visited a unit on the top floor of the Curtis House tenement during the past two years, said neighbor Sammy Jones, 33. The apartment tower is about nine stories tall, one of four boxy, run-down buildings tucked next to a laminated-flooring warehouse in an otherwise upscale neighborhood.

Jones and her 14-year-old daughter, Leanna, who live on the third floor, described Omar as Somali and Said as a heavy-set man with Indian features and short curly hair. Jones said that of four men they saw going to the ninth-floor apartment, Said was the only one to wear traditional attire.

"He used to wear a white cloth on his head," she said.

Two other men, a Somali and a man named George, lived in the apartment, Jones said. The group used to come and go at all hours of the night and did not appear to have jobs, she said.

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