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Suicide bomb' CCTV shown to jury

BBC | January 16, 2007

A jury has been shown CCTV footage of the moment an alleged suicide bomber tried to detonate a device on a London underground train on 21 July 2005.

The pictures taken on a train near Oval station, south London, were played to the jury at Woolwich Crown Court.

Muktar Ibrahim, Manfo Asiedu, Hussein Osman, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed and Adel Yahya deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions.

Prosecutors allege the failed bid was planned before the 7 July 2005 attacks.

The footage shows Mr Mohammed, 25, boarding the train with a rucksack, and turning so that the rucksack on his back faces towards a mother and her child before apparently trying and failing to detonate a bomb.

The jury watched as the CCTV footage showed all the passengers on board the carriage trying to get away from the scene except for fireman Angus Campbell who remonstrated with Mr Mohammed.

"Mohammed said not that it was a bomb but rather 'what's the matter, it is bread, it isn't me, it was that', pointing to the rucksack," prosecuting counsel Nigel Sweeney QC said.

Mr Mohammed is later seen running up the escalator after the train had arrived at Oval as he made his way out of the station, chased by several members of the public.

'Crowded platform'

The court also heard details of Mr Omar's alleged failed attempt to detonate his bomb on a Victoria Line tube approaching Warren Street station.

Afterwards, as he fled Warren Street station, heading north up Hampstead Road, Mr Omar approached two women in full Muslim dress, Mr Sweeney said.

"He demanded of the younger woman that she take him to her home," Mr Sweeney added.

"When she declined he said words to the effect of 'What kind of Muslim are you not helping another Muslim?'"

Mr Osman, meanwhile, is alleged to have tried to set off a bomb in his rucksack on a Hammersmith and City line tube between Latimer Road and Shepherd's Bush.

"Some passengers recall him being thrown off his feet and landing on the floor of the carriage still wearing his rucksack," Mr Sweeney said.

When the train had arrived at the open air Shepherd's Bush station, Mr Osman had squeezed himself between two carriages to hide before escaping over a trackside wall, Mr Sweeney added.

The court was also shown footage of Mr Ibrahim trying to set off his bomb on the top deck of a number 26 bus in Shoreditch.

As with all the other instances, the main explosive charge in the bomb failed to explode.

Mr Sweeney said that, while fellow accused Mr Yahya and Mr Asiedu had not tried to detonate bombs, they had "played a full apart" in the bomb plots as "knowing conspirators".

"Not every soldier can fight on the frontline," he added.

The prosecution has said all of the men were would-be suicide bombers except for Mr Yahya, who was out of the country on 21 July 2005.

Mr Asiedu allegedly lost his nerve at the last moment and dumped his bomb.

Earlier, the jury heard that components for the devices started to be bought in late April or early May and that a "bomb factory" had been set up at the flat of Mr Omar in New Southgate.

"The events with which you are concerned... are plainly not some hastily-arranged repetition of the devastating events of 7/7, plainly not some hastily-arranged copycat," Mr Sweeney said.

He said the defendants had chosen to mount their attack at lunchtime to avoid enhanced rush hour security in the wake of the 7 July bombings.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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