'London bomb plot was just a hoax'
BBC | January 18, 2007
One of the defendants in the London "bomb plot" trial, Hussein Osman, was arrested in Rome and interviewed at length by police.
He is said to have told officers after his arrest he and his co-accused had been making a political point and the devices they carried were never meant to explode.
Nigel Sweeney QC, prosecuting, told Woolwich Crown Court, Mr Osman had admitted to police that his real name was Hamdi Isaac and he was born in Ethiopia in 1978.
Mr Osman was said to have told police he had moved to Italy in the early 1990s and to the UK in the late 1990s where he adopted the identity Hussein Osman.
He also said he had pretended he was Somali because he thought it would make it easier to claim asylum.
He said he met Muktar Ibrahim, Yassin Omar and Ramzi Mohammed at a mosque and had known them for two years, the court was told.
They played football together and went on camping expeditions to Scotland and Kent and had been to Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park to talk about religion, Mr Osman is said to have told police.
Explosives 'not real'
Mr Sweeney said Mr Osman told police they first decided to carry out a "demonstration" about a week after the 7 July attacks on London.
Mr Osman said they decided to take action against the background of what was happening in Iraq and the UK - and claimed that Muslim women being beaten up in the aftermath of the attacks.
Mr Osman claimed that Mr Ibrahim had made the bombs, inserted the detonators and demonstrated how they would work, the court heard.
But he is also said to have explained that Mr Ibrahim had told him the main charge was not real explosives at all but flour.
The court heard that the men decided to meet at Mr Mohammed's home on 20 July.
Mr Ibrahim, Mr Omar and Manfo Asiedu picked Mr Osman up on that day and took him to Mr Mohammed's address, he said.
Mr Osman said it was only then they decided to carry out a fake attack the next day, Mr Sweeney told the jury.
He is said to have told officers he knew the detonator was real and was designed to explode just to "frighten people".
Mr Sweeney told the court that Mr Osman said they all made the bomb mixtures at Mr Mohammed's home on 20 July and he shaved his beard off.
He is said to have told police he set off on the Tube eastbound and thought Mr Asiedu was going to White City on the Central Line.
He allegedly told detectives there was no plan about what they were supposed to do afterwards but they decided not to meet each other again for safety reasons.
Mr Sweeney told the court Mr Osman said he was "economical with the truth" when asked to explain how he escaped from Britain because he did not want to involve other people.
He told officers he only decided to leave London after Jean Charles de Menezes was mistaken for a bomber and killed on 22 July, Mr Sweeney said.
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