Parsons Green Suspect Told Teacher It Was ‘His Duty to Hate Britain’, Referred to Anti-Terror Programme

An injured woman is assisted by a police officer close to Parsons Green station in west Lo
Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP

The teen Iraqi asylum seeker accused of the Parsons Green station bombing told his teacher it was his “duty to hate Britain” and was referred to the government’s anti-terror programme, a court heard.

Jurors at the Old Bailey heard Monday that Ahmed Hassan had made the comments to his teacher, allegedly telling her “the British” were responsible for his parents’ death, The Telegraph reports.

Katie Cable, Hassan’s media lecturer, told the jury she had become concerned by his behaviour and reported him to Prevent, a programme which supports people at risk of engaging in terrorism, after she saw a WhatsApp message on his mobile phone saying: “IS [Islamic State] has accepted your donation.”

Hassan, who arrived illegally in the UK aged 16 in the back of a lorry, is accused of planting a device packed with explosives and shrapnel on a District Line train in September 2017, which partially exploded, injuring 30.

He is charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion. No terror-related charges were made against him.

Ms. Cable alleged Hassan, who joined Brooklands College in Weybridge, Surrey, in April 2016, talked about former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his involvement in the Iraq war with “anger”.

“I believe the anger was very clear. He referred to being angry several times,” she told jurors.

The media lecturer added that the teen asylum seeker could be “very secretive”, describing an incident where he had visited “a friend” in Wales without telling anyone what he was doing.

She also recounted instances of behaviour which she described as “strange”, including Hassan producing a video of him destroying a mobile phone, and bringing her presents for children the day before the bombing.

In a separate testimony, the court heard the suspect had given workers at the children’s charity Barnardo’s different stories about his past in Iraq, and that Hassan had also blamed the United States for the death of his parents.


Prosecutor Alison Morgan asked charity worker Youseff Habibi: “Did Mr. Hassan ever say who he blamed for [the death of his parents]?”

The Barnardo’s worker replied: “America.”

Mr. Habibi had last week described allegedly hearing the accused listening to a “call-to-arms” song on his mobile phone whilst he was staying at a Barnardos children’s home, the lyrics translating to: “We are coming with you to the slaughter in your home/country.”

The Old Bailey also heard last week that Hassan had told immigration officials at Lunar House in Croydon that he had been “trained… how to kill” by Islamic State when he was in Iraq.

Officials asked Hassan: “Have you previously or are you any part of a terrorist group, for example, Isis?”

He replied: “Yes, I was recruited by Isis for three months.”

A second Barnardo’s employee, Zoe Spencer, who accompanied Hassan to the interview in January 2016, felt “sickened” by the response “as if he did not understand the question, so I stopped the interview.”

During a second interview, with an interpreter, Hassan added that he had been “forced” to join Islamic State.

The asylum seeker denies attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP, the ‘Mother of Satan’ explosive used by Islamic State, to cause an explosion.

The trial continues.

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