CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt said Tuesday that a detained chemist wanted by Britain for questioning about the London bombings had no links to the July 7 attacks or to Al Qaeda (search).
Government spokesman Magdy Rady said in a statement that a Cabinet meeting Tuesday reviewed an Interior Ministry report that "made clear that there is no link between Egyptian chemist Magdy el-Nashar (search) with Al Qaeda or the [London] bombings."
El-Nashar, who obtained a doctorate from Leeds University (search) in England, was detained last week by Egyptian authorities at the request of the British government, which suspects he had links to some of the four bombers, three of whom are from Leeds.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told parliament Tuesday that he will meet with the British ambassador in Cairo to discuss el-Nashar's case.
Egypt's leading pro-government newspaper, Al-Ahram, quoted a senior security official as saying el-Nashar's innocence was revealed in questioning.
"Through interrogations carried out by Egypt, the British side was assured that el-Nashar has no role in the explosions," the newspaper quoted the unidentified official as saying.
Al-Ahram had earlier quoted an unidentified security source as saying el-Nashar told investigators he rented a house to Hasib Hussain, the 18-year-old bomber of the double-decker bus. British police searched el-Nashar's Leeds home after reportedly finding traces of explosives in his bathtub.
El-Nashar reportedly has denied involvement in the London bombings, and Egyptian security officials have said the country is not prepared to hand him over to Britain.
British authorities believe Hussain and three other bombers died in the attacks, which killed 52 other people. Officials are looking for accomplices or a mastermind.