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 'London bomber' did not mean to hurt anyone, court hears

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The Sameer
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Registration date : 2007-03-07

PostSubject: 'London bomber' did not mean to hurt anyone, court hears   Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:22 am

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article2366508.ece

An alleged bomber has admitted taking a rucksack "device" on to a bus as part of the 21 July 2005 alleged suicide attacks in London but insisted he did not mean to kill or hurt anyone.

Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29, speaking for the first time about the incident, said he had a device on a bus with him to protest against the plight of Muslims everywhere, and especially in Iraq.

His barrister, George Carter-Stephenson, QC, has already described to a jury at Woolwich Crown Court how Mr Ibrahim tested several rucksack devices beforehand to make sure they only went "pop".

The defendant became the first of six men accused of an extremist Muslim plot to give evidence. All six deny charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.

Mr Ibrahim, from Stoke Newington, north London, conceded he was the man on the No 26 bus who was caught on CCTV apparently detonating a rucksack on 21 July. Mr Carter-Stephenson said: "Did you have - to describe it neutrally - a device with you?" Mr Ibrahim replied: "Yes."

"Did you intend or hope that device would explode?"

"No," said the defendant.

"Was the device an improvised explosive device, in other words, was it - to your knowledge -capable of detonation?"

"No, it was not capable of detonation," Mr Ibrahim replied.

"In a short sentence, can you help this jury as to why you had that device with you on 21 July, 2005?"

He replied: "To protest against the plight of Muslims everywhere, especially in Iraq."

The defendant was born in Eritrea and first came to the UK with his family in November 1990, aged 13, to escape the war with Ethiopia, the court heard.

Mr Ibrahim said his family settled in north London and he had lived in the UK ever since. He attended school in London, leaving in 1994, aged 16, with two GCSEs. He went on to Harrow Weald College to study leisure and tourism but did not finish the course, staying for less than a year. He then worked in a number of restaurants and met Yassin Omar, a co-defendant, in 2000, when they were living in the same block of flats.

Mr Ibrahim travelled to Sudan in 2003 where he stayed for two months visiting relatives. He told the court he did not engage in anything in Sudan that could be described as jihadic or military training.

Mr Ibrahim returned to the UK in March 2003 and worked in a shop in Dalston, north London, selling shoes and African cloth.

His fellow defendants are Mr Omar, 26, from New Southgate, north London; Mafo Kwaku Asiedu, 33, of no fixed address; Hussain Osman, 28, of no fixed address; Ramzi Mohammed, 25, of North Kensington, west London; and Adel Yahya, 24, of Tottenham, north London.

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