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Australian Police Question Two Men Over UK Terror Plot


Australian police are interviewing two men in connection with a plot to detonate car bombs in Britain and have detained one of them. Counter-terrorism officers detained the young doctor at Brisbane airport as he was trying to leave the country. From Sydney, Phil Mercer reports.

Australian police are questioning the two doctors over the failed car bombings in the British cities of London and Glasgow. Officials said both men had been working in northern England before being recruited by a hospital in Queensland.

A 27-year-old Indian man was first detained at Brisbane airport, apparently trying to board a flight on a one-way ticket. He had been employed as a registrar at the Gold Coast hospital since September of last year and according to staff had arrived with 'excellent references.'

Government officials here have not said what his alleged involvement in the UK terror plot was.

Australia's attorney general Philip Ruddock says action was taken following a tip-off from British investigators.

"The Australian federal police and Queensland police acting on this advice that we've received specifically from UK authorities detained a 27-year-old man in Brisbane last night. He was detained at Brisbane international airport," said Ruddock. "The man is currently assisting police with their inquiries. No charges have been laid."

His arrest in Australia brings the number of people held in connection with the failed British attacks to eight.

Officials say there appears to be no specific link between the second doctor, who is being questioned, and the foiled bombings in the United Kingdom.

Under Australia's counter-terrorism laws suspects can be held without charge for three days, and for longer periods with the approval of a court.

The government in Canberra insists there is no new evidence to suggest that Australia was a target for extremists.

The country's terrorism alert level will remain at medium.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said the public should remain vigilant, saying there were "evil people" seeking to do harm in Australia.

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