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Guilty verdict for Ahmed Hassan, 18, arrested in Dover after Parsons Green terror attack

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An asylum seeker who fled to Kent after injuring 30 people in a bomb blast has been convicted today of the Parsons Green attack.

Iraqi Ahmed Hassan, 18, planted the homemade device full of 400g of the high explosive TATP and shrapnel on a Tube train.

He left it on a District line train on September 15 last year, and got off at Putney Bridge station.

Guilty: Ahmed Hassan. Picture courtesy of Metropolitan Police
Guilty: Ahmed Hassan. Picture courtesy of Metropolitan Police

The bomb partially exploded a stop later at about 8.20am at Parsons Green Tube station in west London, sending a fireball flying through the carriage and injuring 30 passengers.

Hassan bought some of the ingredients using a £20 Amazon voucher he received for being 'student of the year' at Brookland's College in Weybridge, Surrey.

After planting the bomb, Hassan fled to Dover, where he was arrested the next day.

Prosecutors argued he carried out the attack as he blamed the UK for his father's death in Iraq.

He denied trying to kill people, claiming it was all part of a "fantasy" inspired by action movies, in which he became a fugitive and was chased across Europe by Interpol.

He told jurors: "Like I said, it was a fantasy. I was very bored, I wanted attention."

Although he admitted making the device, which he said he learned online, he claimed it was only meant to burn and not explode.

But Hassan, of Sunbury, Surrey, was convicted unanimously at the Old Bailey of attempted murder.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave adjourned sentencing to a date to be fixed.

It will be in line with section 30 of the Terrorism Act 2008.

The scene of the terror attack at Parsons Green. Picture: PA Wire
The scene of the terror attack at Parsons Green. Picture: PA Wire

Hassan arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry in October 2015, and later told Home Office officials IS had trained him to kill.

He was eventually placed with foster carers Ron and Penelope Jones in Sunbury.

But Hassan began plotting a bomb attack during the summer holidays last year.

He had components delivered while his foster parents were on holiday in Blackpool.

The trial heard Hassan told his lecturer Katie Cable he had a "duty to hate this country".

One witness heard him listening to a 'call to arms', encouraging "slaughter in this homeland", while another had seen Hassan watching a video of fighters with an IS flag.

A memory stick found on his chest of drawers contained 'nasheeds', involving one talking about a "night of revenge and noble slaughter"

Alison Morgan, prosecuting, said: "You had a deep seated anger I suggest at this country because of what happened in Iraq."

He answered: "No. I never disrespected anyone in my life, in this country."

Ms Morgan said: "I suggest, Mr Hassan, you were far from confused in the summer of 2017. You were very focused on carrying out a lethal attack in this country, weren't you?"

The scene at Dover when Hassan was arrested
The scene at Dover when Hassan was arrested

On the stand, Hassan said he was smuggled from Turkey into Italy, and made his way to Calais where he spent two months in the Jungle migrant camp.

He claimed he had lied to the Home Office about being kidnapped by IS in order to secure asylum, after being advised in the Jungle to make up a story.

This was because he came from a wealthy safe area of northern Iraq, in Kurdistan, and felt he had to make it up, and wanted to further his studies in the UK, he said.

Hassan added: "I wanted to go to university and my ultimate goal was to become a wildlife photographer, like David Attenborough, and do documentaries."

Asked how he knew what to say, Hassan said: "In the Jungle at Calais, people used to talk about making stories.

"I have never come across a refugee who said he would tell the truth when he arrived in the country."

His mother died when he was young and his taxi driver father was killed in an explosion in Baghdad when Hassan was aged seven, he said.

He planned to travel back to Iraq after planting the bomb, he added.

The bombing was the fifth terrorist attack in England in six months in 2017.

It was the only one that didn't claim lives although 30 people were injured.

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