An 18-year-old man who planted a home-made bomb on a London tube, intending to kill those on board, has been found guilty of attempted murder following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Ahmed Hassan of Sunbury, Surrey was found guilty of attempted murder and will be sentenced next week. Sentencing will now be considered by the judge in line with section 30 of the Terrorism Act 2008.
Temporary Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said:
“Hassan was extremely devious and cunning in the way he went about carrying out this attack. He 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 and had it done so, I have little doubt that we would have been dealing with many fatalities.
“The response of all the emergency services to this incident was tremendous – from the first responders at the scene, through to the detectives and officers involved in the investigation, his arrest. The case against him was so compelling that the jury were left in no doubt of his intent to kill, despite his claims to the contrary.
“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 British Transport Police, Transport for London, Kent, Surrey and Port of Dover Police, then this result may not have been possible.
“I also hope that today’s outcome will help those who were injured and on the tube that day to start to put this terrible ordeal behind them.”
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 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, and 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.