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FBI investigates U.S. lead in bombings

British police seek man who enrolled at NC State University

SPECIAL REPORT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal law enforcement officials tell CNN the FBI is investigating the background of a former North Carolina State University student sought by British police in connection with the London bombings.

They want to assess if he was also involved in the attacks aboard three subway trains and a double-decker bus last week.

El-Nashar -- an Egyptian from Cairo -- is not believed to be in the United States

His name surfaced, one federal official said, during the search of a property near London. Another U.S. government official said his number appeared in a cell phone that was recovered.

He studied chemical engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh during the spring semester of 2000, according to NCSU records.

He earned a doctorate in biochemistry from Leeds University in England on May 6.

He has not been seen there since the beginning of the month, a statement from Leeds University said.

The university said El-Nashar is believed to have been seeking a post-doctoral position in Britain and Home Office updated his visa earlier this year.

He had enrolled in the university's school of biochemistry in October 2000 and submitted his thesis this past February, the statement said.

The topic was "Development of a novel matrix for the immobilisation of enzymes for biotechnology," and he was sponsored by the National Research Centre in Cairo, Egypt, according to the statement.

British authorities have confirmed the names of two suspected suicide bombers: Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and Hasib Hussain, 18, both of Leeds.

Officials familiar with the investigation identified a third bombing suspect as Mohammed Sadique Khan, 30, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and said the name of the fourth suspected suicide bomber is Germain Morris Lindsay.

Police Thursday raised the death toll in the attacks to 53, with 700 wounded.

CNN's Marylynn Ryan, Kevin Bohn, Kelli Arena and Henry Schuster contributed to this report.

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