'Devious' Parsons Green bomber Ahmed Hassan jailed for life
23 March 2018, 14:46
A teenage asylum-seeker who detonated a bomb on a rush hour Tube train has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 34 years.
Described by Mr Justice Haddon-Cave as "very dangerous and devious", Ahmed Hassan had his head bowed and his eyes closed as he was handed a life sentence.
He was found guilty earlier this month of the attempted murder of 93 people who escaped when a fireball engulfed a District Line Tube carriage at Parsons Green on 15 September last year.
A jury rejected his explanation that he only wanted to act out a fantasy like the Tom Cruise film Mission: Impossible and convicted him of multiple attempted murder.
The 18-year-old pretended to engage with the anti-terrorism Prevent scheme as he plotted mass murder in the capital, the court heard.
He created a bomb with 400g of "Mother of Satan" explosives and 2.2kg of shrapnel while his unsuspecting foster parents were on holiday in Blackpool.
"It must have come as a disappointment that the carnage you hope to create had not occurred," the judge said during sentencing on Friday.
The judge said it was "sheer luck" that the main charge did not fully detonate, and said he was satisfied that the offence of attempted murder was an act of terrorism.
Hassan plotted his attack with "ruthless determination and almost military efficiency while pretending to be a model asylum seeker", the court heard.
The judge added: "Your intention that morning was to kill as many members of the British public as possible.
"I'm satisfied you were determined to create as much death and carnage that day as possible."
On the morning of the attack, Hassan left his home and caught a train to Wimbledon carrying his bomb inside a Lidl bag.
He set the timer on the District Line and got off one stop before the bomb partially exploded on the floor of the carriage at Parsons Green.
He was motivated by Islamic State extremism, "deep-seated hatred" of Britain, revenge for the death of his father and anger at continued bombing in Iraq, the judge said.
For nearly two years, the highly intelligent college student had lived a "double life", he said.
Hassan had been shown "every kindness" since he arrived in Britain yet harboured "dark thoughts" and significant hatred and animosity towards the country that took him in.
The court heard Hassan had arrived in Britain illegally in 2015 and told officials he had trained with IS in Iraq. He was also older than he purported to be.
Hassan was referred by Barnardo's and Surrey social services to Prevent, but kept his murderous plans a secret.
In what the judge said was a "remarkable act of cynicism", he used his student of the year award of a £20 Amazon voucher to buy one of the key chemicals online.
The night before the bombing, his foster father Ron Jones went to find out why Hassan was not sleeping, unaware he was sitting next to the highly unstable TATP explosives.
Some 51 people were injured in the explosion - many suffering burns but others suffering crush injuries in the stampede to get off the platform.
A review of Hassan's dealings with Prevent is under way.
(c) Sky News 2018: 'Devious' Parsons Green bomber Ahmed Hassan jailed for life