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U.K. Terror Suspect Charged In Australia

Australian police charged an Indian doctor Saturday with providing support to a terrorist organization by recklessly giving a member of the group his mobile phone SIM card before he moved to Australia.

Muhammad Haneef, 27, was charged with providing support to a terrorist organization, an offense which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Australian police arrested Haneef on July 2 after his mobile telephone's SIM card was found in the possession of one of the men accused in the failed car bomb attacks on London and Glasgow, Scotland, on June 29 and 30.

Media reports later identified the man as Sabeel Ahmed, Haneef's distant cousin and former housemate, who is being questioned by British police over the foiled plot.

"The specific allegation involves recklessness rather than intention," Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty told reporters in the capital, Canberra.

He said Haneef had been "reckless" in supporting the alleged terror cell, "in particular the provision of his SIM card for the use of the group."

Official documents cited by The Australian newspaper on Friday said Haneef gave the SIM card to Ahmed before he moved to Australia from Britain last year so that his cousin could take advantage of free minutes left on his mobile phone plan.

Keelty confirmed police would oppose bail when Haneef appears before the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday.

He is the second person to be charged over the failed British attacks. The other is Bilal Abdullah, who is accused of conspiring to set off explosions in Britain.

Haneef, who came to Australia from Britain last year to work in a Queensland state hospital, is also related to another suspect, Kafeel Ahmed.

British prosecutors allege he crashed a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas canisters and gasoline into the Glasgow airport then set himself on fire on June 30. Neither Kafeel nor Sabeel Ahmed have been formally charged.

Haneef reportedly shared a house with the Ahmed brothers in the British city of Liverpool for up to two years before Haneef moved to Australia, and remained in contact by phone and online messaging after that.

Police have also said they suspect a possible link between Haneef and Abdullah.

Haneef was arrested in the eastern city of Brisbane on July 2 while trying to leave the country on a one-way ticket to India. He says he was rushing home to see his wife and newborn daughter, born June 26. Police have said they do not believe Haneef's explanation.

The Home Office, 10 Downing Street, the Foreign Office and London's Metropolitan Police all declined to comment on the charges filed in Australia when reached around 1 a.m. Saturday morning.

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