'Tube bomber' strolled through house to escape

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The Independent Online

An alleged would-be suicide bomber calmly strolled along a railway line after a failed train attack before escaping through an elderly couple's house, a court heard yesterday.

Hussain Osman, 28, is accused of trying to blow up a Hammersmith and City Line Tube carriage near Shepherd's Bush station on 21 July, 2005 with a bomb hidden in a rucksack.

Mr Osman is on trial alongside five other men over the alleged terror plot. All deny charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.

The jury heard statements from passengers in the Hammersmith and City Line train that they heard a bang like a "firework". Many spoke of seeing a man thrown on to his back with a cream "doughy" substance leaking from the rucksack. "He was in a position like Jesus when nailed to the cross, with his arms out to the sides," one passenger, Abisha Moyo, said.

Eunice Olwa said she saw him squeeze between two carriages and jump down on to the track. "It was like he was strolling in the park," she said. The prosecution says Mr Osman then climbed over a garden wall of the home of Mellanda and Lola Henry, whose home backs on to the railway track.

Mrs Henry, a retired nurse, said she heard a sound "like someone was jumping down from something", from the back of the house, the court heard."I heard a rushing, like someone running from my dining room area to the hall towards the front door," she said. "The man said 'I won't hurt you, I'm just passing through' or words similar to that. He then opened the front door and went out."

CCTV images shown to the jury yesterday showed a figure on the railway line walking beside the train at Shepherd's Bush. The footage later shows a figure walking along Wood Lane past BBC Television Centre before catching a number 220 bus to Wandsworth in south London.

A man in a white vest is seen going upstairs in the double-decker bus and taking a seat at the back for the 50-minute journey. The figure is later seen emerging at the last stop and walking off in the direction of Clapham.

Mr Osman's co-defendants are Muktar Said Ibrahim, 28, from Stoke Newington, north London; Ramzi Mohammed, 25, from North Kensington, west London; Yassin Omar, 26, from New Southgate, north London; Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 33, of no fixed address; and Adel Yahya, 24, of High Road, Tottenham, north London.

The case continues.