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EL NASHAR: I CHALLENGE YOU TO FIND BOMB LINKS
THE bio-chemist arrested after the London terror blasts yesterday said he had known one of the bombers, but challenged police to link him to the crime.
Egyptian Magdy el Nashar, currently held in Cairo, denied involvement in the blasts during an interview attended by British police.
The 33-year-old helped to arrange the lease of a flat in Leeds used by the bombers and was thought to have been a friend of Jermaine Lindsay.
But yesterday he insisted he only knew bus bomber Hasib Hussain - and had no knowledge of his plans.
The divorced dad-of-one said: "He asked me for help in finding shelter in Leeds. I set up a place for him in the house of an Iraqi doctor. I never visited the house and did not plan, finance, assist or manufacture explosives.
"The British authorities found my name because it was in the phone book of Hasib Hussain."
He added: "I challenge the authorities to prove my involvement in this crime or my knowledge of it. I condemn the explosions."
Yesterday, it was believed Egyptian authorities were preparing to release him.
Britain has no power to request he is sent to London because there is no extradition treaty with Egypt.
El Nashar was brought up in a Cairo slum but won a scholarship to study for a PhD at Leeds University.
He said he met Hussain through the university mosque - but had no idea what he was planning.
The devout Muslim also denied his faith linked him to the London terror attacks.
He said: "This is not a basis for the British authorities to connect me to these crimes.
"I pray faithfully, but that does not mean I am a religious fundamentalist."
El Nashar, who returned to Egypt a week before the bombings, said he had only been back home once before due to financial reasons - but there was nothing to stop him returning to Britain.
Friends said he was here to register his PhD at Egypt's National Research Centre.
He was arrested after leaving prayers at the mosque next to his parents' home in Basateen district.
His case has been taken up by Egyptian lawyer Montasser el Zayat, famous
for representing members of an Islamic terrorist group.