Authorities investigating the London bombings have launched a worldwide manhunt for a man officials believe attempted to set up a terrorist training camp in Southern Oregon.
A law enforcement official told The Oregonian on Wednesday evening that the man, Haroon Rashid Aswat, 31, was one of several people prosecutors had linked to the plans to establish a training camp in Bly, a small town near Klamath Falls. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cautioned that the purported link between Aswat and the London bombings was far from certain.
Last year, American prosecutors indicted a London-based Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, on charges of conspiring to build an al-Qaida camp in Bly. The law enforcement official said Aswat was the man referred to in court papers as “co-conspirator #3.” Aswat was not charged in that case, but the federal official said Wednesday that Aswat is the subject of an ongoing U.S. terrorism investigation. He declined to provide details on that inquiry.
Quoting what it said were 10 officials, The New York Times reported Wednesday that Aswat had emerged as a suspect of intense interest to investigators examining the July 7 London attacks, which killed 56 people and injured more than 700. Klamath County District Attorney Ed Caleb said his office had been told by a federal official that agents were investigating a connection between the Oregon training camp and the London attacks.
It was not clear what specific evidence had prompted Scotland Yard to focus on Aswat as a possible planner of the London attacks. The London Times reported that he had been linked to all four of the bombers through cell phone records…