BRITAIN is harbouring nearly 50 would-be suicide bombers, according to a leading
British Islamic radical.
Hassan Butt, a self-styled recruiter of British volunteers for the Islamic holy war, said he had been approached by the men for guidance on how to carry out "martyrdom operations" in Israel.
The warning came after last week's suicide bombing at a bar in Tel Aviv which killed three people. The attack by Asif Mohammed Hanif, from Hounslow, west London, and Omar Khan Sharif, from Derby, was the first suicide strike by British citizens. Hanif blew himself up but Sharif fled when his bomb failed to detonate. He is still on
Security sources said Sharif was known to police in Derby. "He was a known Islamic activist and there were reports that he was involved in handing out fundamentalist leaflets," said one. However, police denied there was any reason to suspect he would act as a suicide bomber. Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch is questioning six people it suspects might have been linked to the blast.
This weekend Butt said he knew both British bombers but refused to elaborate. He claimed they were just the first of a significant number of Britons who were preparing to conduct similar attacks. "The number is getting close to 50. They are aged 17 to their late thirties. They are contacting me about organisation."