Iraqi asylum seeker guilty of London Tube bombing


London (AFP)

An 18-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker was on Friday found guilty of attempted murder over the botched bombing of a rush-hour London Underground train that injured 30 people.

"The prosecution argued that Ahmed Hassan made this homemade bomb with the aim of indiscriminately killing as many people as possible. The jury has agreed," said Sue Hemming from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after the verdict at London's Old Bailey.

Hassan left the improvised bucket bomb filled with shrapnel and "Mother of Satan" TATP explosives in a carriage carrying 93 passengers on September 15, last year.

It partially exploded at Parsons Green tube station in west London, one stop after he had alighted.

Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command, called Hassan "an intelligent and articulate individual that is devious and cunning in equal measures.

"He kept secret what he was planning and plotting. We describe him as a lone actor."

Commuter Stephen Nash earlier told jurors that he was on his way to work when he experienced a "blinding flash" before being "engulfed in flames".

"I was thrown to the ground," he said. "The flames were overwhelming... It was intense heat, I thought I had lost my ears, I thought my head was on fire."

Fellow witness Aimee Colville said she heard a "loud bang" and "cracking" before "a wall of glass came across".

"That morning I had curled my hair and I had put hairspray in my hair so when the flames came over me my hair immediately caught fire," she added.

Hassan arrived in Britain in October 2015. He told authorities he was in fear of the Islamic State group which he said had taken him by force in Iraq and trained him "how to kill".

He was given a home by foster parents Penny and Ron Jones, and studied media and photography at Brooklands College in Weybridge, south of London.

Following the verdict Hassan was remanded in custody to be sentenced next week.