Moment teen 'left bomb on tube train' caught on CCTV

Charlotte England

CCTV footage has captured the moment a teenager allegedly left a rucksack packed with explosives and shrapnel on a busy tube train.

Damon Smith is accused of having left a homemade bomb on a Jubilee line train with a detonator clock timed to go off 13 minutes later.

A jury at the Old Bailey was shown footage on Thursday of Mr Smith, who was 19 at the time, getting off the train at London Bridge on 20 October 2016.

After planting the device, the teen allegedly changed his clothes and went to a university lecture.

The device malfunctioned when a £2 Tesco clock failed to detonate it, but had it worked it would have exploded while passengers were being evacuated at North Greenwich, jurors were told.

It was later destroyed by police in a controlled explosion. The station remained closed for several hours.

Mr Smith, who has Asperger's syndrome, had previously printed off an al-Qaeda article entitled 'Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom' and made notes in green ink before shredding the sheets of paper, the court heard.

Counsel for the prosecution said he had a keen interest in Islam, guns, explosives and gambling, and collected pictures of extremists, including the alleged mastermind of the 2015 Paris terror attacks.

“This particular interest [in guns and weaponry] may have been a function of his autism spectrum disorder,” said prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC.

A shopping list for “pressure cooker bomb materials” was allegedly found on an iPad belonging to the defendant, ending in a note to “keep this a secret between me and Allah #InspireTheBelievers”.

Jurors were told it contained nearly all the components used in the construction of the Tube device, including ball bearings described as “shrapnel”.

After he was arrested, the student admitted to making the device but claimed he only meant it to spew harmless smoke as a prank.

Mr Rees told the court how Mr Smith, an only child, grew up in Newton Abbot in Devon and moved to London with his mother in June last year before starting a computer course at London Metropolitan University.

Juror's heard how on 20 October, he boarded a train from Surrey Quays to Canada Water before getting on the westbound Jubilee Line, then going back on himself at Southwark.

At 10.49am, the defendant got off at London Bridge leaving behind his rucksack propped up by the train door, containing the bomb set to explode minutes later at 11.02am, it is alleged.

There were at least 10 passengers in the carriage at the time and some of them spotted the bag and reported it when they got to Canary Wharf.

The driver took the bag thinking it was lost property and carried on towards North Greenwich, Mr Rees said.

But a few minutes later he noticed a wire poking out of a clock and reported the item as suspicious, triggering an evacuation.

Meanwhile, Mr Smith went to his university campus in Holloway and searched for articles for the incident when he got home later.

Mr Smith, now 20, denies possession of an explosive substance with intent, contrary to the Explosive Substances Act 1883 but has admitted the lesser offence of perpetrating a bomb hoax.

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