Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The 'quiet, likeable' man who was the King's Cross bomber

Chief Reporter,Terry Kirby
Friday 15 July 2005 00:00 BST

Yesterday, police were piecing together the background of Lindsay Jermalne and examinning two packages that arrived for him with Leeds postmarks, handed over by the Post Office.

Fellow Muslims who knew him were as baffled as the rest of this market town by how they came to have a suicide bomber living in their midst. One young man who, like all his acquaintances, asked not to be named, said: "He was a nice quiet guy, a proper Muslim who didn't drink or smoke. I used to meet him at a friend's house with a group of others and we would all weight-train together. He was quite a fit guy and a wrestling fanatic and used to watch it on the television all the time. I'm really surprised they are saying this about him. I won't believe it until I see his picture on the television." Yesterday, police who raided his rented house on Wednesday night were continuing a forensic search of the property. Both ends of the road remain cordoned off and blue sheeting conceals the front of the house. Samples of DNA will be matched with tissue samples from the blast to confirm his identity.

And like his fellow bombers from Leeds and Dewsbury, the fourth member of the gang is not well-known in the area, anddescribed byneighbours as having a shaven head, scruffy beard and stocky build. Details of his background remain sketchy.

He is said to have arrived from Huddersfield three years ago and married a local woman called Samantha Lewthwaite who had converted to Islam about a year before. She is believed to be about 21 and educated at Elmhurst Middle School and The Grange secondary school. One man who knew them said: " Samantha was very friendly with Muslim girls and, because of that friendship, wanted to convert to Islam. I think she met him through them, so you could say it was an arranged marriage." The couple are said to have been married at a friend's house.

Although both are said to be very religious, people at the town mosque said Jermal would exchange his western clothes for Islamic dress when he went to pray. He is also believed to have visited the Regent's Park Mosque in London. His wife is believed to have taken the name Sharima.

Before moving to Northern Road, the couple lived in a modern house in an estate called The Coppice on the outskirts of town where they were known to neighbours as "a pleasant couple." They used a local supermarket, where a shop assistant said: "He was such a nice guy, polite, kind and very quiet. It's just incredible he would do something like this."

There was no reply at the terraced house last night where Jermal's mother-in-law is believed to live; her parents are said to have separated years ago. A man who answered the door at her brother's house in a nearby road did not wish to comment.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in