NEWS
16/03/2018 11:31 GMT | Updated 16/03/2018 13:12 GMT

Parsons Green Tube Attack: Ahmed Hassan Found Guilty of Attempted Murder

30 people were injured.

Parsons Green Tube bomber Ahmed Hassan, 18, has been convicted at the Old Bailey of attempted murder.

The Iraqi asylum seeker plotted to cause carnage in central London, armed with a 400g device made of volatile “Mother of Satan” explosives packed in a bucket with more than 2kg of screwdrivers, knives, nuts and bolts.

The Old Bailey heard he wanted to cause “maximum” carnage to avenge the death of his father, who was killed in an explosion in Iraq more than 10 years ago.

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Ahmed Hassan on a train to Brighton after the explosion 

Hassan denied the charges, claiming he only wanted to make a fire to fulfil a “fugitive fantasy” to be chased by Interpol.

But judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told him he had been found guilty on “overwhelming evidence”.

The judge also paid tribute to the police and counter terrorism officers who investigated the case “so brilliantly and quickly.” 

During the trial, Commander Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, said Hassan kept his plans a secret from social workers in Surrey.

“I describe Hassan as an intelligent and articulate individual that is devious and cunning in equal measures.

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An image of Hassan taken at his home in Sunbury, Surrey, which was shown to the jury at the Old Bailey 

“On the one hand he was appearing to engage with the (Prevent - the government’s counter-terror) programme but he kept secret what he was planning and plotting. We describe him as a lone actor.”

The court had heard Hassan told Home Office officials he was trained by Islamic State “to kill” after he arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry in 2015.

He was taken in by foster parents Penny and Ron Jones MBE, and studied media and photography at Brooklands College in Weybridge.

His college mentor referred him to anti-terror programme Prevent after he said it was his “duty to hate Britain” on receiving a WhatsApp message about an IS donation.

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Components of the explosive device that exploded on the District Line train at Parsons Green

Katie Cable’s concerns were raised again just two months before the bombing when he texted her: “But your country continues to bomb my people.”

And in early September he told her: “It’s almost better to be back in Iraq. It’s better to die because you have heaven.”

While his elderly foster parents were on holiday in Blackpool, Hassan assembled the ingredients for homemade explosives in his bedroom in Sunbury, Surrey, and used his “student of the year” award of a £20 Amazon voucher to buy one of the key chemicals online.

On September 15 last year, he left his home and caught a train to Wimbledon carrying his bomb inside a Lidl bag. He was captured on CCTV going into the station toilets, where he set the bomb to blow in 15 minutes, before boarding the District line.

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An injured woman outside Parsons Green station in West London 

He got off the train one stop before the bomb partially exploded on the floor of the carriage at Parsons Green.

Around 93 commuters were forced to scramble to escape when a ball of fire engulfed the carriage.

Twenty-three passengers suffered burns, with some describing their hair catching fire and their clothes melting in the blast. Twenty-eight suffered cracked ribs and other crush injuries in the stampede to escape via a narrow station stairway. 

One victim, Ann Stuart, told jurors: “What I saw was this flash and whoosh that came up from my side.

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The device after it exploded on a District Line train at Parsons Green 

“My hair was smoking. I patted myself out and got off the train and this man picked me up and held me.

Meanwhile, Hassan destroyed his phone and fled London with more than £2,000 in cash but was picked up by police at the Port of Dover the next day.

Giving evidence, he claimed he only wanted to cause a fire because he was “bored and stressed”. He said: “It became kind of a fantasy in my head. I was thinking about it. Yes, that was it.”

He denied acting out of anger and guilt at being given a “safe haven” by the very country he held responsible for his father’s death.

Hassan awaits sentencing. 

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Further components of the device