Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Guilty: Tube Bomber Who Could Have Killed Dozens; 'Fantasist' Bomber's Motive Remains a Mystery

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Guilty: Tube Bomber Who Could Have Killed Dozens; 'Fantasist' Bomber's Motive Remains a Mystery

Article excerpt

Byline: Tristan Kirk Courts Correspondent

A TEENAGE asylum seeker who detonated a homemade bomb on the Tube at Parsons Green in an attempt to maim and murder commuters was facing life in prison today.

Iraq-born Ahmed Hassan, 18, plotted "carnage" with an improvised device he had filled with a volatile explosive and packed with 2.2kg of shrapnel.

He denied attempted murder but a jury at the Old Bailey found him guilty unanimously. Hassan had rigged the bomb with a modified kitchen timer, set to explode at Parsons Green station as scores of people travelled to work on Continued on Page 7 Continued from Page 1 September 15 last year. The device only partially detonated but sent a fireball shooting through the carriage which left 30 people injured and many more traumatised. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told the teenager he had been convicted "on overwhelming evidence" and would be sentenced next week.

Hassan had entered the UK less than two years before the attack, telling the Home Office in January 2016 that he had been "trained to kill" by Islamic State after he was forced to join the extremist group in his native Iraq. He was referred to the anti-terrorism Prevent service, given counselling by the Freedom From Torture organisation and placed in a hostel run by charity Barnardo's.

He was eventually settled with foster parents in Sunbury-on-Thames, maintaining that IS had forced him into terror training by threatening to murder his uncle and brother. But at trial Hassan said it had all been a lie to support his claim for asylum, telling the jury he had never been involved with IS and had travelled across Europe in search of a "better life".

The true motive for the bombing remains a mystery as Hassan insisted during his evidence that he had built the device to burn rather than explode and was living out a fantasy as an international fugitive after watching Mission: Impossible films. …

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