Parsons Green bomber sentenced
The 18-year-old man who left a home-made bomb on a London tube at Parsons Green, intending to kill those on board has been jailed for a minimum of 34 years.
Ahmed Hassan, (01.06.99) of Sunbury, Surrey was sentenced to a minimum of 34 years’ imprisonment. He was previously found guilty on Friday, 16 March of attempted murder. Hassan was sentenced by the judge in line with section 30 of the Terrorism Act 2008.
The judge commended the police investigation as well as individual officers involved in the case and witnesses.
Sentencing him on Friday, 23rd March to a minimum term of 34 years, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave made the following observation: “Finally, Ahmed Hassan, let me say this to you. You will have plenty of time to study the Qur’an in prison in the years to come. You should understand that the Qur’an is a book of peace; Islam is a religion of peace.
"The Qur’an and Islam forbid anything extreme, including extremism in religion. Islam forbids breaking the ‘law of the land’ where one is living or is a guest. Islam forbids terrorism (hiraba). The Qur’an and the Sunna provide that the crime of perpetrating terror to ‘cause corruption in the land’ is one of the most severe crimes in Islam. So it is in the law of the United Kingdom. You have, therefore, received the most severe of sentences under the law of this land. You have violated the Qur’an and Islam by your actions, as well as the law of all civilized people. It is to be hoped that you will come to realise this one day.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said: "Hassan built a home-made bomb packed full of shrapnel that was designed to kill, maim and injure as many people as he could. It was only through good fortune that it didn't fully detonate. Had it done so, I have little doubt that we would have been dealing with many fatalities.
"The speed at which the Counter Terrorism Command investigation team worked was outstanding and had it not been for the fantastic support given by colleagues from British Transport Police, Transport for London, Kent, Surrey and Port of Dover Police, then this result may not have been possible.
"This result also comes in the same week that the ACT campaign was launched to further encourage the public to report any suspicious activity and behaviour and I would urge anyone who sees or notices anything suspicious to do so without delay."
At 08:19hrs, on Friday, 15 September 2017 an improvised explosive device (IED) partially detonated on an eastbound District Line Tube at Parsons Green Station. As local officers and emergency services responded to the incident at the scene, an investigation was launched by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (CTC).
Detectives from the CTC made fast-time CCTV enquiries from the tube and corresponding stations to identify who boarded the train with the IED.
Within a few hours, they identified that the suspect boarded the tube at Wimbledon Station and further CCTV gathered from the station meant that officers were able to obtain a clear image of the suspect's face, which was then circulated to all police forces across the UK.
It was this image that allowed a police officer at the Port of Dover to spot and arrest Hassan after he arrived there at around 07:00hrs, the day after the attack - less than 24 hours after the device had exploded.
Once he was in custody, officers pieced together Hassan's actions and movements, both in the weeks prior to the attack, in ordering and collecting the various components required to make the IED and also on the day of the attack, charting his journey as he left his home through to leaving the bomb on the tube and his subsequent journey to Dover.
Through their enquiries, officers found that Hassan went to great lengths to try and avoid detection and evade capture. He changed his outfit several times on-route to Dover, discarded his mobile phone and memory card and was only using cash. Despite all this, officers were still able to piece together the evidence that showed how Hassan firstly put together the various components for the IED, and then carried out the attack.
Expert analysis of the device showed that it had been constructed with the intention to fully detonate, but for some reason - possibly due to it being disturbed as he carried it on his journey that morning - it only partially detonated.
Twenty-three people were injured as a direct result of the explosion, suffering serious burn injuries. A further 28 people were injured in the resulting stampede as passengers exited the tube and station in panic.
Hassan was arrested at the Port of Dover on Saturday, 16 September, 2017 and was charged six days later with the above offence.
Chief Superintendent John Conaghan, from British Transport Police, said: "We thoroughly welcome the lengthy sentence that Hassan has been handed by the court today. In September last year, he put Londoners through a frightening ordeal when he left his home-made bomb on a District Line train.
"His appalling attack could have claimed many lives on that busy rush hour train. Thankfully, no one was killed and his imprisonment will prevent him from posing any further threat to the public.
"British Transport Police officers responded quickly to help victims of the attack and we worked closely with Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command in the following hours and days to help identify the attacker. Thanks to excellent work by the UK Counter Terrorism Network, Hassan was quickly identified and arrested.
"Protecting the public from the threat of terrorism remains our number one priority. Now more than ever the public plays a vital role in helping us counter the threat of terrorism. If you ever witness suspicious behaviour, you can confidentially report it by texting us on 61016 or by visiting gov.uk/ACT."