Bilal Abdullah

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Bilal Abdullah
Born Bilal Abdullah
(1980-09-17) 17 September 1980 (age 35)
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
Nationality Iraqi
Criminal charge Conspiracy to murder
Criminal penalty Life in prison
Criminal status Incarcerated
Conviction(s) Guilty

Bilal Talal Samad Abdullah (Arabic: بلال عبد الله‎, Bilāl ‘Abdullāh; born 17 September 1980) was one of two terrorists behind the 2007 London car bombs plot and the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack. He is currently serving a life sentence with a minimum of 32 years.


A resident of Neuk Crescent, Houston, outside Glasgow, Bilal Abdullah was born on 17 September 1980[1] in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire,[2] where his father, also a doctor, worked. He qualified in Baghdad in 2004 and first registered as a doctor in the UK in 2006. He was given limited registration by the General Medical Council (GMC) from 5 August 2006 to 11 August 2007.[3] He worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Ward 10, in Paisley as a locum house-officer in the diabetes department, dealing with outpatients at a drop-in clinic and obstetric clinics.[4] [5] He had links to the Sunni Wahabist[6] sect and radical Islamic groups,[2][7] and had been disciplined for spending too much time on the internet at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.[8] He is also said to have come to the notice of the security service, after visiting Islamist websites.[9]

2007 terrorist incidents[edit]

London car bombs plot[edit]

Main article: 2007 London car bombs

There are indications that Kafeel Ahmed and Bilal Abdullah were behind the 2007 London car bombs plot, and investigations are being carried out to unearth a possible involvement with the deadly 2005 Indian Institute of Science shooting, an attack with unknown suspects who are still at large.[10]

A silver Vauxhall Astra, which was subject to a controlled explosion by police on 3 July 2007, was believed to have been rented by Abdullah.[11]

Glasgow International Airport attack[edit]

Abdullah and the driver of the Jeep Cherokee that was rammed into the terminal and set ablaze, engineer Kafeel Ahmed, who died from third degree burns on 2 August 2007, are also believed by police to have been responsible for leaving car bombs in London two days earlier. Abdullah was the owner of the Jeep[9] and has been charged with conspiracy to cause explosions.[12] He was remanded in custody awaiting trial, and was ultimately given two concurrent life sentences, of which he would be required to serve at least 32 years in prison.[13]

While Ahmed was aflame in the car, Abdullah reportedly attacked Sergeant Torquil Campbell at the scene, in an attempt to prevent him from approaching the burning vehicle, and running back to try to open the back hatch. During the scuffle, police officer Stewart Ferguson was spraying the burning man with a fire extinguisher. Popping and banging could be heard coming from the vehicle.[14] A suicide note left behind indicates that the duo intended to die in the attack.[15]


It has been reported that his motive was to avenge the death of a friend killed in the Iraq War by a Shia death squad,[9] hate against the West over Palestine, and that he had been radicalized by the teachings of al Qaeda and al-Zarqawi. The Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir denies reports from the Telegraph that Abdullah was a member.[16][17] During his own testimony during trial, Bilal said his motivation was the destruction of Iraq, first through sanctions that included even medicine, the rise of childhood leukaemia which he blamed on depleted uranium armour-piercing shells used in the 1991 Gulf War, and for destruction of infrastructure during the U.S. and British 2003 invasion of Iraq.[18]

Abdullah had been given limited registration by the General Medical Council (GMC) from 5 August 2006 to 11 August 2007.[3] The GMC's interim orders panel made a determination, subsequent to the Glasgow International Airport attacks, that Abdullah's registration should be suspended for 18 months, as an interim measure.[3] Since Abdullah's registration was already to expire on 11 August 2007, his registration was suspended only until then.[3]


On 17 December 2009 he was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of conspiracy to murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment with a requirement that he spend at least 32 years in jail.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butcher, Tim; Alleyne, Richard (4 July 2007). "Our son is not a fanatic. This is a mistake". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Airport terrorist in flaming Jeep was born in UK". Edinburgh Evening News. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Australia drops doctor's terrorism charge as 'embarrassing mistake'". The Scotsman (Online). 28 July 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007. 
  4. ^ "Who are the car bomb suspects?". BBC. 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  5. ^ "The middle-class militants seeking bloody martyrdom". Edinburgh Evening News. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  6. ^ "MI5 knew of some doctor suspects". Malaysia Sun. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  7. ^ "Terror warning in code". Herald Sun. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  8. ^ "NHS terror plot: police investigate global email network used by 'bombers'". 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  9. ^ "Scottish Muslims vow to fight divisive terror evil". 4 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  10. ^ "British police charge Iraqi doctor over failed car bombings". The Hindu. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2007. 
  11. ^ Doctor gets two life sentences in U.K. bomb plot | CTV News. (17 December 2008). Retrieved on 29 November 2013.
  12. ^ Fresco, Adam (5 July 2007). "Duo who attacked Glasgow airport 'were resigned to death', say officers". London: Times Online. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007. 
  13. ^ "Glasgow suspects left suicide note". The Australian. 6 July 2007. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2007. 
  14. ^ "He Wanted Revenge". 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  15. ^ Pierce, Andrew (5 July 2007). "Ties that bind terror car bomb suspects". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 5 July 2007. 
  16. ^ Dominic Casciani, Iraqi doctor's road to radicalism: Bilal Abdulla, BBC, 16 December 2008.
  17. ^ Bomb plot doctor jailed for life. BBC News (17 December 2008). Retrieved on 29 November 2013.

External links[edit]