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Haneef had links with radicals: Report

August 02, 2007 09:40 IST
Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef was regularly in contact with Islamic radicals under surveillance by British spy agency MI5, media reports in Melbourne said on Thursday while a dossier said to be made by Bangalore police alleged him of having contacts with Al Qaeda.

Highly classified intelligence documents leaked on Wednesday reveal the former Gold-Coast doctor "...still considered a person of interest by British and Australian investigators" made contact using medical chat rooms, international phone cards and phone boxes, The Courier Mail newspaper on Thursday said.

Intelligence suggests this was to avoid detection and suspicion. The leaked dossier, part of the information that formed a key plank in Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews' decision to revoke Haneef's visa, alleges the Indian-born doctor spoke to a number of suspects about a "project" and a "purpose" before the failed UK bombings.

However, it's understood the intelligence does not contain information about a terrorist attack in Australia and only believes Haneef to be on the outer edge of a large group of like-minded people.

Meanwhile, Indian police intelligence alleged Haneef had links to Al Qaeda.

He remains under surveillance in India by at least two law enforcement agencies, the report said.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty yesterday said Haneef could face further charges.

"It's still potentially possible that a brief of evidence will be submitted against Haneef," he said.

Also on Wednesday, senior government sources confirmed that Haneef's former Gold Coast colleague and Liverpool flatmate, Mohammed Asif Ali, was being investigated over his knowledge of terrorist activities.

Ali stood down from Queensland Health on Friday for lying about his employment history in India, owned two rubber stamps used to forge medical testimonials.

Ali admitted to the Medical Board of Queensland that he made up about an extra 12 months of experience but it was because he had taken time off to take care of a family problem.

But sources said the AFP are suspicious of his activities in that time. "(Ali) is a person of interest to us," Keelty said.

Immigration minister Kevin Andrews revealed on Wednesday parts of information relating to Haneef to explain why he revoked his visa.

However, he said he would not reveal "Part-B" because of the ongoing AFP investigation.

The Courier Mail has learned that the second dossier contains names of suspects and detail of involvement in planned attacks.

Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo said the al-Qaeda link had never been put to his client.

"He is not a political person and if it (the dossier) is from Indian police I would be very careful of it," he said.

Russo said there were plans for Haneef to address the allegations contained in the so-called protected information released by Andrews.

"He will be coming out with a general statement about the allegations against him," he said.

Russo also denied reports that a large party had been thrown for him in India.
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