Extraordinary admission to interrogators by London bomb suspect

Osman Hussain, suspected of attempting to blow up commuters in Shepherd's Bush, west London, has given an extraordinary account of a plot hatched in a basement gym in Notting Hill, according to leaks from his interrogation by Italian investigating magistrates.

The suspected would-be bomber is reported to have denied links to the cell that killed 52 people two weeks earlier. But that outrage acted as a "signal" for the second gang to launch its own attack.

The 27-year-old Ethiopian-born Briton, also known as Isaac Hamdi, was questioned by two judges after being arrested in Rome on Friday.

"Rather than praying, we had discussions about work, politics, the war in Iraq," Hussain said of the gatherings in the gym, according to La Repubblicanewspaper and an Italian news agency.

The would-be bombers watched films, "especially those in which you saw women and children killed and exterminated by the English and American soldiers, or widows, mothers and daughters who were crying".

The propaganda helped to foster the group's "political conviction that it is necessary to give a signal, to do something", Hussain was quoted by La Repubblica as saying.

"We never had contacts with the Bin Laden organisation. We knew that they existed. We had access to their platforms through the internet, but nothing direct."

He told investigators the cell was surprised by the 7 July bombs. "We have no link with the Pakistanis," he said. However, his group took the 7 July carnage as a signal that it should also act.

According to another report, from the Ansa Italian news agency, Hussain said: "We had to do something. We had to react to the climate of hatred and hostility that was created after the 7 July bombs. We were not supposed to kill anyone. That bomb would not have been able to cause victims."

The Italian Interior Ministry confirmed that the quotes from Hussain's interrogation in La Repubblicaand the Corriere della Serawere authentic but declined to comment on the source of the leaks.

The suspect was interrogated from Friday afternoon in Rome's Regina Coeli prison by Judges Franco Ionta and Pietro Saviotti.

A court-appointed defence lawyer, Antonietta Sonnessa, declined to confirm the speculation that her client may have decided to turn state's evidence.

It was not clear that Britain's request for the suspect to be extradited would be granted. The first stage of a preliminary extradition hearing was held yesterday but Rome's Court of Appeal may rule he should remain in Italy as part of an investigation into the killing of an Italian citizen in the 7 July bombings.

If extradited, Hussain will join four other suspects being questioned at Paddington Green police station, three of who have been named as Muktar Said Ibrahim, Ramzi Mohammed and Yasin Hassan Omar. The fifth suspect has not been named.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us