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(CNN) -- A month before the London bombings, British authorities denied a request by their counterparts in the United States to apprehend a man now believed to have ties to the July 7 bombers, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, of Indian heritage, is currently in custody in Zambia, U.S. and Zambian officials told CNN.
U.S. authorities wanted to capture Aswat, who was then in South Africa, and question him about a 1999 plot to establish a "jihad training camp" in Bly, Oregon.
According to the sources, U.S. officials had Aswat under surveillance in South Africa weeks before the July 7 attacks that killed 52 commuters and the four bombers.
U.S. authorities had asked Britain if they could take Aswat into custody but Britain refused because he was a British citizen, the sources said.
Meanwhile in Britain Thursday -- one week after failed attacks on London's transport network -- a nationwide manhunt focused on three of the suspected terrorists.
Aswat, whose associations with al-Qaeda date back ten years, is believed to have entered Briton about two weeks before July 7 on a ferry into Felixstowe, and to have flown out from Heathrow hours before the four suicide bombers killed 52 rush-hour commuters on three Tube trains and a bus.
Investigators have sought him since discovering that he made up to 20 calls from his mobile phone to two of the bombers. Intelligence sources told The Times that during his stay in Britain Aswat visited the home towns of all four bombers as well as selecting targets in London.