Asylum seeker in court over Parsons Green Tube bomb packed with 'knives, screws and shrapnel'

An Iraqi asylum seeker tried to murder commuters on the Tube with a homemade bomb packed with knives, screws, and metal shrapnel, a court heard today.

Ahmed Hassan, 18, allegedly created the explosive device at his foster home in Sunbury-on-Thames, concealing it in a Lidl shopping bag under a pair of trousers as he planted it on a District Line train.

Thirty people were injured when the bomb went off, at 8.17am on September 15 at Parsons Green station.
Some suffered burns from a "fireball" that tore down the carriage, while others were trampled as commuters fled the train, Westminster magistrates court heard this afternoon.

Hassan, who was living with foster parents in Sunbury-on-Thames, was arrested the day after the bombing, as he tried to board a ferry out of the UK at Dover.

He was charged today with attempted murder and maliciously causing an explosion with intent to danger life or cause serious injury.

The teenager came to the UK from Iraq in 2015 and claims both his parents have been killed in the war-torn country, the court heard.

Hassan appeared flanked by five guards in the dock this afternoon for a preliminary hearing.

Asked to give his name to the court, he said: "Ahmed Hassan Mohammed Ali".

Wearing prison-issue grey clothes and with long unkempt hair, he listen on impassively as details of the case against him were read out.

Prosecutors said the improvised explosive, made in a white bucket, contained "many hundreds of grams" of the same explosive substance used in last year's Paris bomb attacks.

They said the bomb contained "metal shrapnel, knives and screws" to increase its destructive capability.

One woman suffered "extensive burns" to both legs in the blast, as well as injuries to her hands and face, and is facing up to 18 months of rehabilitation.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram remanded Hassan in custody today to appear at the Old Bailey on October 13.

He has not entered a plea to the two charges.

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