The 18-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who had been in the UK for almost two years has been found guilty of attempted murder after leaving a homemade bomb on a busy District Line train in London in September of last year.
Ahmed Hassan was religious, a Sunni Muslim, and he prayed five times a day. Hassan describes himself as very shy, he said he "enjoyed being behind the camera rather than in front of the camera." On the other hand, prosecutor Alison Morgan called him "calculated and clever" and said his actions were "an act of anger and hatred designed to cause death and destruction of property". Hassan blamed the UK for the death of his father in Iraq, she said, highlighting that he had previously told Home Office officials that he had been captured by the Islamic State group and was "trained to kill".
He has been jailed for life with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 34 years.
Media reported on the day of attack:
More than 50 people were injured when a fireball swept through the carriage, burning passengers’ skin, hair and clothing, or suffered crush injuries as people fell over each other while trying to escape. Survivors spoke of feeling their faces being simultaneously burned and cut by flying glass.
“Your desire and intention that morning was to kill as many members of the British public as possible,” Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Hassan. “I am satisfied that you were determined to cause as much death and carnage as possible.”
Hassan had carried out the attack with “ruthless determination and almost military efficiency”, said the judge. “There is no doubt in my mind that you are a very dangerous and devious individual.”
At the end of the trial, Judge Haddon-Cave offered some theological advice to Hassan:
‘Finally, Ahmed Hassan, let me say this to you. You will have plenty of time to study the Koran in prison in the years to come. You should understand that the Koran is a book of peace; Islam is a religion of peace. You have violated the Koran and Islam by your actions, as well as the law of all civilized people. It is to be hoped that you will come to realize this one day.’
The first part of the Koran actually has a good deal of peace in it, and the second a good deal of violence. Maybe there is the root of all problems connected to the different interpretations of Islam. If we mention names as Richard Reid, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay, Hasib Hussain, Bilal Abdullah, Kafeel Ahmed, etc., we will recall the crimes they committed in the name of Islam. Both peace and violence are parts of Koran and the problem is that many fanatics think about the violent parts most of the time while praying.
Photo Credits: Now the End Begins