Bomber's wife guilty of failing to disclose plot
Wednesday 11 June 2008
The wife of failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman was tonight facing jail for failing to tell police of his plans for "carnage and mass murder".
Muslim convert Yeshi Girma, 32, knew of his plot to kill innocent Tube passengers on 21 July 2005 and could have stopped it from going ahead.
It was only the botched bomb-making of Osman and his fellow terrorists that saved a repeat of the carnage wreaked two weeks before on 7 July.
Just over half an hour after his failed attack on Shepherd's Bush Tube station, Osman was on the phone to his wife to set in motion an escape plan.
Yeshi, the mother of Osman's three sons, helped him flee to Brighton before he took a Eurostar to Paris and ended up in Rome, where he was arrested.
She wept today as she was found guilty of having information about terrorism and "without reasonable excuse" failing to disclose it.
Younger brother Esayas Girma, 22, who she enlisted to assist the escape plan, held her in his arms as the verdicts were returned by an Old Bailey jury.
Alongside them in the dock was their sister Mulu Girma, 24, who was also in tears as she was convicted for her involvement.
Yeshi and Esayas, both from Stockwell, south London, and Mulu, from Brighton, were all remanded in custody to be sentenced tomorrow.
All three were found guilty of assisting an offender and failing to disclose information about Osman's involvement in the 21 July attacks.
The court heard that Yeshi knew her husband had fallen under the spell of radical Islamists, even allowing him to take their young son away to a training camp in Cumbria where he met four of the five other 21 July plotters.
Her own fingerprints were discovered on tapes featuring "extremist Islamic preaching" by firebrands such as Abu Hamza.
Max Hill QC, prosecuting, said: "Yeshi Girma had prior knowledge of the events of 21/7. She had some information about what the bombers intended to do on 21/7, but failed to bring this to the attention of the police.
"Had the bombers successfully and completely detonated the bombs on busy Tube trains that day, there would have been carnage and mass murder.
"Armed with that prior knowledge of what was going to happen, Yeshi Girma could have attempted to prevent the attacks, which, but for shortcomings in the production of the explosive devices, would have killed and injured many people."
Osman was jailed for life with a minimum of 40 years at Woolwich Crown Court last year for conspiracy to murder, alongside fellow bombers Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohamed and Muktar Ibrahim.
Fellow plotters Manfo Asiedu and Adel Yahya admitted separate offences.
Yeshi claimed during her trial that despite having three children with Osman she was not married to him and did not live with him, and that she knew little of what he was doing.
But the court heard that the day before his attack she took extremist audio tapes he owned to "bequeath" to Muhedin Ali, knowing her husband would never need them again. Ali was later jailed for his own role in helping Osman.
Mr Hill said knowing of the attacks, Yeshi had a legal duty to tell police.
"Had she done so the events of 21/7 might have been averted, events which could have been as devastating as the carnage of 7/7 had the bombers fully achieved their aims," he said.
He said she must have been aware of her husband's growing radicalisation when in May 2004 their young son went with him to the training camp at Langdale, Cumbria, also attended by the three other bombers and Yahya.
By April 2005, when Ibrahim had returned from training in Pakistan, the planning for 21 July was "escalating", the court heard.
Mobile phone and CCTV evidence showed that from April to July planning meetings between Ibrahim, Omar and Osman were taking place in and around Osman and his wife's flat at Blair House.
Mr Hill said the bombers' "suicidal intentions" did not provide for an escape plan so when the plot went wrong they "mobilised close and trusted associates" to help them get away.
Yeshi told the court she was the daughter of an Ethiopian diplomat, who brought her up as a Christian, and a Muslim mother. She said she converted to Islam after a visit to Regents Park mosque in London.
She told the jury she kept up a relationship with Osman, despite his reluctance to marry, for the sake of their children.
"They are boys and when they grow up I wouldn't be able to guide them," she said. "I am just a woman."
Mulu Girma's boyfriend Mohamed Kabashi, 25, from Brighton, pleaded guilty to assisting Osman and failing to disclose information before the three-and-a-half month trial. He will also be sentenced tomorrow.
His flatmates Shadi Abdelgadir, 25, and Omer Almagboul, 22, also from Brighton, were cleared of the charges but detained by immigration authorities as illegal overstayers and face deportation to Sudan.
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