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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn