He admitted being 'trained to kill' by IS, so how DID 'depressed and attention-seeking' Parsons Green Bomber slip through the net?

David Harding
·Contributor

Parsons Green bomber Ahmed Hassan admitted being trained to kill by Islamic State after arriving in Britain but managed to keep his bomb plot secret, prompting fears the young radical slipped through the net.

The 18-year-old asylum seeker had already come to the attention of Home Office officials, the anti-terrorism Prevent organisation, social workers, mental health professionals and charities.

Long before he set about making a home-made bomb, there were signs he was depressed, unstable, radicalised and bent on revenge on Britain for the death of his father, the court heard.

In January 2016, three months after arriving in Britain illegally, he told Home Office officials he was recruited by IS and forced to train with them.

Ahmad Hassan (Metropolitan Police)
Ahmad Hassan (Metropolitan Police)

During an immigration interview at Lunar House in Croydon, he said: ‘They trained us how to kill. It was all religious-based.’

But he denied being sent to work for IS in Europe, the Old Bailey trial heard.

While in the care of Barnardo’s children’s charity, he was caught listening to an Arabic song with a call to bring slaughter to people’s homes.

He was also seen to look at a picture of balaclava-clad fighters holding machine guns and the black IS flag.

How the attack unfolded last September (PA)
How the attack unfolded last September (PA)

During an immigration interview at Lunar House in Croydon, he said: ‘They trained us how to kill. It was all religious-based.’

But he denied being sent to work for IS in Europe, the Old Bailey trial heard.

While in the care of Barnardo’s children’s charity, he was caught listening to an Arabic song with a call to bring slaughter to people’s homes.

He was also seen to look at a picture of balaclava-clad fighters holding machine guns and the black IS flag.

Hassan boarded a London to Brighton train as he fled after the bombing (Metropolitan Police)
Hassan boarded a London to Brighton train as he fled after the bombing (Metropolitan Police)

He told his mentor Katie Cable, from Brooklands College in Weybridge, how his mother was shot and his father was killed in an explosion.

And he said he had a ‘duty to hate Britain’, the country he blamed for dropping the bomb.

In the summer of 2016, Ms Cable saw a WhatsApp message on Hassan’s phone saying: ‘IS has accepted your donation.’

She was so concerned that she contacted a civilian worker at the anti-terrorism Prevent organisation to report it.

He was eventually arrested in Dover (Metropolitan Police)
He was eventually arrested in Dover (Metropolitan Police)

MOST POPULAR TODAY ON YAHOO

Some of the evidence presented at the trial (Metropolitan Police)
Some of the evidence presented at the trial (Metropolitan Police)

Despite this he was still able to try and carry out his deadly plan on the London Underground last September.

The court heard Hassan had suffered from depression before and was on suicide watch in hospital for three days in May 2016.

He had also been referred to the charity Freedom from Torture, amid fears he might have been traumatised by his experiences in Iraq.

In the summer of 2017, Hassan demonstrated his deteriorating mental health by scrawling ‘I’m bored’ repeatedly on his bedroom door.

Hassan threw away his phone as he fled following the attack (Metropolitan Police)
Hassan threw away his phone as he fled following the attack (Metropolitan Police)

He took delivery of hydrogen peroxide using a friend’s address to avoid arousing suspicion and assembled the bomb while his foster parents Ron and Penny Jones were on holiday in Blackpool.

When Mr Jones asked him why he was not sleeping on the eve of the bombing, Hassan refused to say.

Little did his foster parent know that Hassan was sitting in the conservatory of their home in Sunbury, Surrey, next to a highly volatile explosive device.

It remains unclear whether Hassan had any contact with IS at all, as he claimed he made the story up to further his asylum claim.

Police lead away an injured passenger in the aftermath of the attack (Rex)
Police lead away an injured passenger in the aftermath of the attack (Rex)

Commander Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard’s counter terrorism command, said Hassan was ‘devious’ and hid his plot while appearing to engage with Prevent, the de-radicalisation programme.

‘On the one hand he was appearing to engage with that programme but he kept secret what he was planning and plotting so we describe him as a lone actor,’ he said.

Barnardo’s contacted the Counter Terrorism Unit and Prevent the day following Ahmed Hassan’s immigration interview with the Home Office.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Barnardo’s followed strict processes and procedures in swiftly alerting the appropriate authorities over security concerns to try and ensure they were dealt with properly.”