Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Failed UK underground bomber accused trained 'to kill' by Islamic State

Failed UK underground bomber accused trained 'to kill' by Islamic State

A teenage asylum seeker accused of planting a bomb on a London Underground train told British authorities he was trained "how to kill" in Iraq by Islamic State, a court heard on Wednesday.

Some 93 passengers scrambled to get off the District Line train after a wall of flames engulfed their carriage during rush hour on September 15 past year, with witnesses describing a fireball melting clothes, singeing hair, and causing bad burns.

But Hassan had got off the carriage at Putney Bridge Station before the bomb went off on a timer, the court heard.

Iraqi Ahmed Hassan, 18, is accused of planting the homemade device containing 400g of explosives on the District Line carriage on September 15 a year ago.

She said: "Had the device fully detonated it is inevitable that serious injury and significant damage would have been caused within the carriage".

Hassan had successfully claimed asylum after arriving in Britain in 2015 by traveling through the Channel Tunnel on a truck.

Hassan allegedly said: "They trained us on how to kill".

Claiming to have been trained with 1,000 people until Iraqi soldiers came into IS territory, he told officials he was trained "how to kill" during "religious-based" training.

Video played for the jury showed an explosion inside the subway vehicle followed by a large fireball that caused many burns and severe injuries.

The device he allegedly created contained Isis' signature explosive TATP [triacetone triperoxide] and 2.2kg of sockets, screws, bolts, nails, knives, screwdrivers and other shrapnel aimed to cause "maximum harm and carnage".

Thirty people were injured in the explosion.

Ahmed Hassan, 18, is said to have built a homemade bomb in his foster parents' home while they were away on holiday after buying the ingredients on Amazon.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of Hassan the day before the attack allegedly buying shrapnel for the bomb from Asda in Feltham, before cycling to Aldi.

The defendant allegedly left his home shortly before 7am and took the overground train from Sunbury to Wimbledon, passing schoolchildren and commuters on his way to the District Line interchange.

Jurors were told the batteries could have been used for the bomb timer. He could have pulled the wires out of the device.

The CCTV footage then showed the moment an orange fireball filled the carriage.

The main charge may have failed to explode because the initiator was not sufficiently embedded in the TATP, or because the TATP had been poorly made, the court has heard.

Passenger Jelena Semenjuk had noticed a bag on the floor and a man fitting the description of Hassan before she heard a "loud bang" and noticed her coat was on fire, the court heard.

She suffered burns to her legs, hands, and face, causing her eyebrows and lashes to be singed off, the court heard.

One woman said she could smell herself burning and could see that her hair was on fire.

Hassan denies attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion.

Morgan told the jury that when Hassan was first arrested he told police that he was "responsible for the device".

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