A teenage asylum seeker accused of detonating a bomb on a packed Tube train at Parsons Green station told jurors he lied about being kidnapped by ISIS to escape deportation.
Ahmed Hassan, 18, injured 30 commuters after detonating the device loaded with nails, screws and knives, causing the packed District Line carriage to erupt in a 'fireball', the Old Bailey has heard.
A court sketch of Ahmed Hassan who is accused of detonating a bomb at Parsons Green Tube station
The bomb exploded as the train pulled into the west London station shortly before 8.20am on September 15 last year, leaving several passengers severely burned.
Hassan, who made the explosive triperoxide (TATP) using ingredients bought from Amazon.com, entered the UK illegally on the back of a lorry in 2015.
Giving evidence the teen said he never had any contact with ISIS and he lied in his Home Office interview so he could stay in Britain.
He said: 'Because I come from a wealthy safe area in Kurdistan in northern Iraq and if I had told them the truth they would have deported me.
Hassan poses with a knife in a picture taken at his home in Sunbury-upon-Thames, Surrey
'The only reason I left my country was to further my studies. I felt I had to make up something strong so they can accept me here.
'In the jungle in Calais people used to talk about these things and make stories, I have never come across a refugee who said he would tell the truth once they were in Europe.'
Tim Moloney QC, defending, said: 'You learned what to say from the time in the jungle in Calais?' 'Yes indeed,' said Hassan. 'I had to stick with it otherwise it wouldn't have worked.'
Asked if he was tortured or detained by ISIS, he said: 'No I have never had any contact with ISIS at all.' Hassan left Iraq to cross the border into Turkey, which he said was 'fairly easy', stayed there for two weeks then paid a smuggler to get through to Italy where he was detained for three days, he said.
Hassan on a train to Brighton after a device exploded on the District Line train at Parsons Green
Flames shoot out of the homemade bomb in a Lidl shopping bag on the Tube train
'I came across some people who were living in Italy and applied for asylum and they said that Italy was not good and they advised me to get out of Italy, I myself was abused by the Italian authorities, they were not very nice with me,' Hassan said.
Hassan said the Italian authorities 'simply released me', and he travelled via train to Paris, then onto the Calais jungle, where he stayed for two months before travelling to Dover.
He had been working 18 hours a day aged 16 loading and unloading vegetables between trucks on the Iran/Iraq border and wanted to leave because he was 'bored'. Hassan said: 'I was bored, my job, and I wanted a better life, I wanted to further my studying, I wanted to learn English and there was so much pressure on me to keep up my job and I was just bored of it.'
These pieces of metal were found inside the explosive detonated at Parsons Green Tube station
As well as nuts and bots these knives were also found inside the explosive device
Hassan is also alleged to have put this screwdriver into the bomb
It may have been 'sheer luck' nobody was killed in the bombing, as the device only partially detonated.
Asked about episodes where he would snap pens and run out of class while at school, Hassan said: 'Sometimes I get disconnected from the present moment I get very angry.'
'I have to do something to empty myself I have to run I have to get away from people.
'I get connected to the past about what happened in Iraq. My whole body starts shivering and my head starts warming up and it just changes me completely.'
Hassan wears a long-sleeved Chelsea shirt as he uses a cash machine at Ashford Station in Kent, after he is alleged to detonated the device
He told the court his father, a taxi driver, went out to work one day and just didn't return, and his mother died when he was very young before he could remember.
Hassan told his teacher at Brooklands College, in Weybridge, Kayte Cable 'it is my duty to hate Britain' and donated to ISIS, the court heard.
He also told Ms Cable he blamed 'the British' for the death of his parents and admitted to the Home Office that ISIS had trained him in Iraq to kill people.
Smoke hangs in the air after the explosive detonated in the Tube carriage at Parsons Green
Hassan is placed into the back of a police vans as he is arrested
Hassan insisted he had been forced to join the terrorists after they had threatened to kill his uncle and brother, but today contends he made the whole thing up to be granted asylum.
He was only 16 when arrived in the UK in October 2015 and was living with foster parents Penelope Jones, 71, and her husband Ronald, 88, at the time of the attack.
The migrant had written 'bored, bored, bored' on his bedroom door at the foster carers' home before the attack, the court heard.
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He had taken an overground train from his home in Sunbury to Wimbledon at just after 7am, carrying the bomb in the Lidl carrier bag, and activated the device from within the toilets at Wimbledon station.
Jurors have watched CCTV footage showing the packed train, which was carrying 93 passengers, erupt in flames as panicked witnesses fled for their lives.
Hassan, from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, denies attempted murder and using the explosive substance TATP (triacetate triperoxide) to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.
The trial continues.
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