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Iraqi man convicted of 2017 London train bombing

By Sara Shayanian
Iraqi man convicted of 2017 London train bombing
An injured woman is aided by an emergency officer at the Parsons Green Underground Station in London after a bombing on September 15, 2017. File photo by Will Oliver/EPA-EFE

March 16 (UPI) -- An Iraqi teenager was convicted Friday of attempted murder for bombing a crowded London underground train last summer.

Ahmed Hassan, 18, was found guilty after a trial at which he said he didn't intend to injure anyone with the bomb. He told jurors the bombing was an effort to get attention, and that he'd been "very bored, very depressed, very confused."

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Hassan was arrested in September after his bomb injured more than two dozen 29 passengers on a subway during rush hour at the Parsons Green station in London.

Hassan said he'd been influenced by action films and wanted to be a fugitive. Prosecutor Alison Morgan called him "calculated and clever."

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"You can be sure it was not an act of attention-seeking or boredom," Morgan said. "This was someone who wanted to cause death and damage and make good his escape."

Both Hassan's parents died when he was a child, and prosecutors said he blamed Britain for his father's death during an airstrike on Baghdad.

"The prosecution rely heavily on motive in this case and point to evidence that Mr. Hassan was angry. He blamed the coalition for his father's death. He had been killed by a bomb in Iraq," judge Justice Haddon-Cave said.

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"He was angry at the continued bombing of his country by the U.K. It was suggested he had a deep down hate of this country."

Hassan said he'd been abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and "trained on how to kill." The 18-year-old said he then made his way to Britain via Istanbul, Paris and Calais as a stowaway.

Hassan later said he made up the story of his kidnapping in an attempt to win sympathy and stay in Britain.

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