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Parsons Green Tube bombing: Teenager jailed for life


Ahmed HassanImage copyright
Met Police

A teenager has been described as “dangerous and devious” by a judge as he was jailed for life for planting a bomb on a Tube train at Parsons Green.

Ahmed Hassan’s device partially exploded during London’s rush hour on 15 September, injuring 51 people.

The 18-year-old, from Surrey, who was found guilty of attempted murder, was ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years.

Before the attack the Iraqi asylum seeker had been referred to a government deradicalisation programme.

But the BBC has been told Hassan had not consented to take part in the Prevent scheme.

In victim impact statements read out in court, commuters said they believed they were going to die and described how they had been troubled by disturbing recollections and fears.

Passing sentence, the judge, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, said he would be treating the incident as a terrorist offence.

In a January 2016 immigration interview, Hassan told officials he had been in contact with the Islamic State group and had been “trained to kill”. The trial also heard he blamed the UK for the death of his father in Iraq.

The judge told Hassan: “There is no doubt that you are a very dangerous and devious individual.

“You quietly went about planning and executing this terrorist bomb attack with ruthless determination and almost military efficiency, whilst pretending to be a model asylum-seeker.”

He added: “I am satisfied you were determined to create as much death and carnage that day as possible.”

‘Shaking and anxious’

Hassan’s bomb partially exploded at 08:20 GMT after the train arrived at Parsons Green station, leaving 23 people with burn injuries and 28 suffering crush injuries as they fled from the train and station.

Prosecutors at the sentencing hearing said there would have been “serious harm, if not fatality” if the bomb – packed with 2kg of screwdrivers, knives, nuts and bolts – had fully detonated.

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Media captionCCTV of Parson’s Green Tube bomb fireball

Hassan had built the bomb in the home of his foster parents in Sunbury-on-Thames while they were away.

On the morning of 15 September, he took a westbound District Line train from Wimbledon, getting off one stop before Parsons Green. His device, which had a timer and was placed in a supermarket plastic bag, was left on the floor of the carriage.

He was arrested the following morning at Dover.

Hassan arrived in the UK in a lorry after having spent time in the migrant camp in Calais known as the Jungle and he was referred to Surrey County Council’s social services – a standard procedure for unaccompanied child asylum seekers.

Hassan’s foster parents were not aware of the concerns that he harboured extremist views.

Following the verdict, Surrey County Council apologised, saying its work “wasn’t as good as it should have been” in helping to stop individuals from being drawn to terrorism.

In a victim impact statement read by prosecutor Alison Morgan, Stephen Nash said he had to give up his job as a social worker because he feared getting on the Tube since the incident and does not like being amongst crowds.

Ann Stuart said she became “tearful for no discernible reason” and had frightening dreams, adding: “Since this happened I wake most mornings shaking and anxious”.

Another victim, identified only as Miss S who suffering 16% burns to her body after the fire from the device melted her tights, had to see a psychologist.


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