Jordanian doctor’s father says his son is no terrorist

THE father of a Jordanian doctor reportedly arrested by police investigating three failed bombings said yesterday his son was devoted to becoming a surgeon and incapable of carrying out such attacks.

Mohammed Jamil Abdelkader Asha, the 27-year-old father of a small boy, could be the mastermind of the bomb plots, officials in Jordan said on condition of anonymity, adding that his wife Marwa Dana was also arrested.

A second doctor, Bilal Abdulla was named last night as one of two men who drove a flaming Jeep loaded with gas canisters into the arrivals hall at Glasgow Airport. The Iraqi doctor was working at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, near Glasgow Airport. A third doctor is also reportedly among the arrested.

Anti-terror officers arrested a man and a woman, believed to be Asha and his wife, on a motorway in northwest England on Saturday. They are being questioned in London, while Scottish police search North Staffordshire hospital, where Asha has offices.

Asha’s father Jamil Abdelkader Asha, speaking from his modest apartment in the working class suburb of al-Zuhur east of Amman, Jordan, said that he had not been informed of his son’s arrest and had learnt about it only through the media.

“My son is incapable of such acts,” said Jamil Asha, a former teacher aged in his 60s with eight children, showing off pictures of Mohammed.

“Mohammed is pious, like the rest of us, but certainly not an Islamist extremist.”

Mr Asha said his son, who is studying neurology at Birmingham University, planned to visit Jordan on July 12.

Asked if Mohammed went to the mosque, Jamil replied: “He didn’t have time for that, he studied all the time.

“He was a brilliant student. He wanted to become an excellent surgeon and was not the type to get involved in political issues. At university he wasn’t even a member of any student unions.”

Jamil called on Jordan’s King Abdullah II to intervene with the British authorities, saying: “Not all Arabs are terrorists.”

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