Egypt releases chemist held for three weeks over Tube bombings

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The Independent Online

Magdi el-Nashar, 33, told reporters outside his home in Cairo that he had nothing to do with the bombings that killed at least 56 people on three London Underground trains and a bus. "I am innocent, my country is innocent," said Mr Nashar, who had been studying at Leeds University.

He said he knew two of the attackers casually. He was detained in Cairo after Britain notified Egyptian authorities they suspected he may have had links to some of the terrorists, three of whom were from Leeds.

Mr Nashar had returned to Egypt on holiday a week before the attacks. Egyptian authorities arrested him on 14 July, a week after the bombings. He said he met one of the suicide bombers, Jamaican-born Germaine Lindsay, in Leeds during the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, in October and November. He said that in June, he helped Lindsay find a place to live in Leeds before he moved there from London with his wife and child because he was a "new convert [to Islam]. He was very kind and very nice."

His release was delayed by the failed bombings of 21 July and the Sharm el-Sheikh attacks two days later. The Egyptian interior ministry said authorities found no evidence against him and no links to the bombings or to al-Qaida.

Mr Nashar said: "I want to go back again [to Britain]. But I am afraid, honestly I am afraid. If I walk down the street and someone recognises me, he might kill me. I am innocent."