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Doctor Convicted of Terrorism: DU Effects Were Motivation

A doctor convicted of planting car bombs in the West End of London, and of participating in an attack on Glasgow airport, told Woolwich crown court that the experience of working in Iraq with child victims of DU radicalised him. British-born Iraqi Bilal Abdulla, who claimed that his intention was not to kill anyone but to make a statement by causing fear, said that the high incidence of childhood leukaemia and the lack of medical supplies turned him against Britain, his ‘second home’ and question the ‘civilisation’ of the West.

While working as a doctor in Iraq, Abdulla said he witnessed increasing rates of leukaemia in young children caused by DU fired in the first Gulf War, whilst doctors had to work without antibiotics and painkillers. During this part of his testimony he broke down in the dock and wept. The intercommunal violence following the 2003 Iraq war completed his transition from a young man who contemplated joining the British army to help with his medical school costs, to supporting the Sunni insurgency against occupying coalition forces.

From BBC Coverage of the Trial

Fighting back tears in the witness box, he described seeing more and more children diagnosed with leukaemia. This had been caused, he said, by depleted uranium shells fired by US forces during the first Gulf War.

“What I have seen is children aged three, four, five and six with leukaemia, but without treatment,” he said.
“Why were they not treatable?” asked James Sturman QC, for the defence.
“No medication.”
“Why was there no medication?”
“Sanctions,” said Dr Abdulla.

Dr Abdulla said highly-trained Iraqi clinicians, many of whom had studied and worked in the UK, were struggling without antibiotics and pain-killers. The rate of malformed babies went up, he said, as did the rate of post-operation infections.

Source: BBC News - Car bomb accused 'loved England'

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Page last updated: 12 February, 2009