An 18-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker was today sentenced to life imprisonment for placing a bomb on a London underground train which partially exploded, injuring 51 people last year.
Ahmed Hassan was directed to serve a minimum of 34 years behind bars before being considered for parole at the end of a murder trial at the Old Bailey court in London.
The court was told that Hassan blamed the UK for his father’s death in Iraq and was “disappointed” when the bomb only partly detonated in a huge fireball.
“Your intention that morning was to kill as many members of the British public as possible by planting the IED [improvised explosive device] on a busy commuter Tube train,” said Justice Haddon-Cave during the hearing.
He said Hassan planned his attack with “ruthless determination and almost military efficiency while pretending to be a model asylum seeker”.
“You will have plenty of time to study the Quran in Prison… the Quran is a book of peace… Islam forbids breaking the law of the land… Islam forbids terror,” the judge added.
Prosecutors at the sentencing hearing said there would have been “serious harm, if not fatality” if the bomb, packed with 2-kilogramme of screwdrivers, knives, nuts and bolts, had fully detonated.
Hassan built his bomb at the home of his foster parents in Sunbury-on-Thames while they were away.
On the morning of September 15, 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, trying the flee the country.
During his asylum application a few years ago, the teenager told UK Home Office officials, that he had been trained to kill by the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist network, but denied being sent to the UK as a sleeper terrorist.
Hassan had been referred to the government’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, who believed he was engaging with them.
Hassan’s foster parents, Penny and Ron Jones, accused the authorities of failing to warn them to look out for signs of radicalisation.