Tube terror attack youth jailed for life

|News, Terrorism

A teenager from west London who was convicted of attempted murder after his homemade bomb exploded in a packed tube carriage has been jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 34 years in prison.

Ahmed Hassan, 18, was found guilty on 16 March.

The jury at the Old Bailey heard how Hassan left the improvised device in the carriage with 93 passengers on the morning of 15 September 2017. It partially exploded at Parsons Green tube station but Hassan was uninjured as he had got off at the previous stop.

The device was inside a bucket which was also loaded with more than two kilograms of metal shrapnel including, screws, bolts, nails, knives and screw drivers. Hassan intended these to be shot out during the explosion, causing as much injury as possible to commuters.

During the trial the CPS presented Hassan’s online purchase history to the court, which included chemicals he bought to make the bomb, along with CCTV footage from the day before the attack showing him buying the shrapnel items.

The combination of chemicals he used to make the device was extremely dangerous - the detonation of even a gram had the potential to cause serious injury to people and damage to property. By the morning of the attack Hassan had made at least 400g of it at his home in Sunbury, west London.

From Sunbury station he travelled by train to Wimbledon where he set a timer on the bomb in the station toilets. He then boarded the District Line train and got off at Putney Bridge station. The bomb exploded shortly before 8.20am at Parsons Green – two minutes after Hassan had got off.

Eye witnesses described hearing a loud bang and seeing a fireball rolling across the ceiling of the carriage. One passenger received burns to her hands, legs, and face which caused loss of hair on her eyebrows and eyelashes. People also suffered minor injuries caused by the stampede of passengers trying to get away.

After getting off the tube Hassan made his way to Dover and got rid of his mobile phone and sim card. He also changed clothes and bought new ones. Hassan was arrested on the morning of 16 September with £2,320 in cash, a new phone and a number of matchsticks with the tips removed. When the device at Parsons Green was examined it was discovered that match heads had been used to make it.

Hassan has never provided a clear motive for the attack.

When he was convicted Sue Hemming from the CPS said:

“The prosecution argued that Ahmed Hassan made this homemade bomb with the aim of indiscriminately killing as many people as possible. The jury agreed.

“It was only a matter of luck that the device did not work as he intended or it could easily have led to the loss of innocent lives."

Notes to editors

  • Ahmed Hassan (DOB 01/06/1999) was convicted of:
    • One count of attempted murder, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981. On 15 September 2017, he attempted to murder persons unknown.
  • Sue Hemming is Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS.

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