London court finds Parsons Green bomb suspect guilty of attempted murder | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 16.03.2018
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London court finds Parsons Green bomb suspect guilty of attempted murder

Police say the 18-year-old planned the bombing despite taking part in a de-radicalization program. The "bored and stressed" Iraqi teen slipped into the UK on a truck with a "duty to hate Britain."

An Iraqi teenager was found guilty of attempted murder on Friday for planting a bomb on a London underground train. The September 15 blast in Parsons Green subway station wounded 30 people after the home-made bomb partially exploded.

Although nobody died in the attack, prosecutors said there would have been more injuries and probable fatalities if the device had operated properly.

The bomb was packed in a bucket with nails and concealed inside a supermarket
carrier bag (Reuters/Sylvain Pennec)

The bomb was packed in a bucket with nails and concealed inside a supermarket carrier bag

The device — which had been packed with nails and explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and placed in a plastic bucket inside a grocery bag — partially detonated during a peak morning travel period.

Eighteen-year-old Ahmed Hassan reportedly showed no emotion when the verdict was read out at the British capital's Central Criminal Court. 

What is known about Ahmed Hassan:

  • Hassan arrived in Britain in 2015 after traveling through the Channel Tunnel on a truck.
  • He had claimed asylum and was living with a foster family before the attack.
  • During an immigration interview, Hassan said he had been recruited by Islamic State militants in Iraq and forced to train with them.
  • British authorities have come under fire for failing to anticipate Hassan may have acted violently.

Read more: UK raises terror threat to critical after London terrorist bomb attack

What Hassan told the court: The teen admitted building the bomb, but had not intended for it to explode. He told the court he only wanted to cause a fire because "he was bored and stressed" and fantasized about becoming a fugitive.

Signs of radicalization before the attack: Hassan told a teacher at a college he attended he had a "duty to hate Britain." He blamed the country for a bomb that killed his father in Iraq more than a decade ago. The teacher informed authorities who enrolled him in a de-radicalization program.

Counterterrorism experts on Hassan's case: Counterterrorism police said Hassan appeared to engage with the program, but "kept secret what he was planning and plotting."

The sentencing: Hassan is due to be sentenced next week and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

 

kw/kms (AP, Reuters)

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