UK Politics

Parsons Green ‘bomber dreamed of being next David Attenborough’

35Views

Joe Roberts for Metro.co.uk

Parsons Green 'bomber dreamed of being next David Attenborough'
Ahmed Hassan told the Old Bailey he came to Britain with dreams of becoming a wildlife photographer (Picture: PA)

The suspected Parsons Green bomber has revealed he wanted to study in Britain so he could become the next David Attenborough.

Ahmed Hassan arrived in the UK as an Iraqi asylum seeker in October 2015 and told immigration officials he had been kidnapped by Isis, the Old Bailey heard.

Jealous boyfriend 'slashed partner's throat and hid body under bed sheets'

Around 93 passengers on the District Line train ducked for cover when a wall of flames engulfed their carriage during morning rush hour on September 15 last year.

The court heard the 18-year-old media student planted 400g of homemade explosives and shrapnel on the train and timed it to go off when it reached the west London stop.

When he was picked up in Dover the following morning, he told police he had made the bomb, which had only partially exploded, likely saving countless lives.

Handout photo dated 15/9/2017 of issued by the Metropolitan Police of the device after it exploded on the District Line train at Parsons Green underground station. Ahmed Hassan confessed to making explosives when he was arrested the day after the attack, the Old Bailey heard. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 9, 2018. Hassan denies attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion that was likely to endanger life. See PA story COURTS ParsonsGreen. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The bomb partially exploded, likely saving countless lives (Picture: PA)

Giving evidence in his defence, Hassan told jurors he was never taken prisoner by Isis.

Tim Moloney QC, defending, asked: ‘Were you ever mistreated by Isis?’

what nerve agent does to your body infographicSergei Skripal Yulia Salisbury Russian SpyMETROThis is what nerve agents do to your body

Hassan replied: ‘No. I have never had any contact with Daesh at all.’

He told jurors he made up the story about being kidnapped by Isis to get leave to remain in Britain.

Asked why, he said: ‘Because I came from a wealthy safe area in northern Iraq in Kurdistan and if I told the truth my only reason to leave the country was to further my studies … I felt I had to make up something strong.

Handout photo dated 15/9/2017 of issued by the Metropolitan Police of Ahmed Hassan using a ATM at Ashford after a device exploded on the District Line train at Parsons Green underground station. Ahmed Hassan confessed to making explosives when he was arrested the day after the attack, the Old Bailey heard. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 9, 2018. Hassan denies attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion that was likely to endanger life. See PA story COURTS ParsonsGreen. Photo credit should read: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ahmed Hassan is seen using an ATM in Ashford, Kent, after the device exploded (Picture: PA)

‘In the jungle in Calais people used to talk about these things and make up stories. I never came across a refugee who said he would tell the truth when he arrived in the country.

‘I wanted to go to university and my ultimate goal was to become a wildlife photographer like David Attenborough.’

Shannon MathewsKaren Matthews and Jimmy Savile feature on sick Mother's Day cards

Hassan told how he was born in Baghdad in Iraq.

His mother died when he was young and his taxi driver father was killed in an explosion in 2006, he said.

‘So far as I’m aware I was told that he died in an explosion while he was working as a taxi driver. He used to go to work and come back evenings and then he did not come back.

**TV OUT** Artists impression of Ahmed Hassan who will go on trial today at the Old Bailey, London, March 7, 2018, after being accused of the Parsons Green terror attack which injured 30 people in Sept ?17. He has been charged with attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion that was likely to endanger life. Hassan, of Cavendish Road, Sunbury, Surrey, denies the charges against him. His trial at the Old Bailey is being heard before Mr Justice Haddon-Cave and is expected to last for two weeks.
Ahmed Hassan’s trial at the Old Bailey continues (Picture: SWNS)

‘It was very difficult. I did not understand what was going on. I was in a state of confusion because of fighting, because of bombing.’

The defendant said he decided to leave Iraq because he wanted ‘a better life’.

He said: ‘I wanted studying, I wanted to learn English and there was so much pressure on me to keep on with my job.’

File photo dated 17/2/2016 of the EU and Union flags. UK ministers will table amendments to their Brexit bill amid continuing opposition from the Scottish and Welsh Governments in a dispute over devolved powers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday March 12, 2018. Whitehall, Holyrood and Cardiff Bay are in deadlock over how to handle the repatriation of responsibilities from Brussels following Brexit. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireThe UK will regret the decision to leave the EU, says Jean-Claude Juncker

He smuggled himself to Britain in a lorry aged 16 and began a course at Brooklands College in Weybridge, Surrey.

Hassan has continued his studies while in prison so his ‘academic year is not wasted’, he said.

He denies attempted murder and using explosives to endanger life.

The trial continues.

More: UK

Leave a Reply