Monday, May 14, 2007

Britain: One of the alleged 21 July bombers said he was only accused of being a suicide bomber because he was Muslim

BBC News:

Yassin Omar

Yassin Omar, 26, said the "bomb" he detonated in a rucksack at Warren Street Tube station in London was a protest against the Iraq war.

"Because I am Muslim, straight away that meant I was a suicide bomber," he told Woolwich Crown Court.

Six men deny attacking London's transport network on 21 July 2005.

Cross examining him, Nigel Sweeney QC, prosecuting, responded by saying: "That is total and utter tripe."

Mr Omar replied: "That is the truth. There is a man sending mail letter bombs and everyone says it is only to cause a bit of harm and to scare people.

"But if you are Muslim, you must be a terrorist and wanting to kill people."

Mr Omar was referring to a wave of letter bombs sent across the country at the start of the year, which he said had not been taken as seriously as the events he was accused of being connected with.

He also admitted much of what he told police after his arrest on 27 July was fabricated, saying that he had made up a fictional character called Hassan in order to provide an alibi for the night of 20 July and the morning of 21 July.

He said: "Hassan was a complete invention. I told the police what they wanted to hear. I was scared, I thought they might torture me if I did not co-operate.

"I did not know what they were going to do with me. Most of the time I was not telling the truth."

Mr Omar said he lied about the whereabouts of his co-defendants because he feared the police might shoot them, as they had Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

Mr Omar was defiant in the witness box, rejecting claims from Mr Sweeney that his story was "hogwash".

After fleeing the Warren Street tube, he told the court he jumped on the 134 bus heading towards north Finchley, but quickly decided to walk as the roads were so busy.

But Mr Sweeney said CCTV cameras covered all the 134 buses that day and Mr Omar was nowhere to be seen. Mr Omar, from New Southgate, north London, is one of six men who all deny conspiracy to murder and to cause explosions.

He is charged along with Muktar Said Ibrahim, 29, from Stoke Newington, north London; Ramzi Mohammed, 25, of North Kensington, west London; Hussain Osman, 28, of no fixed address; Adel Yahya, 24, of High Road, Tottenham, north London; and Mr Asiedu, 34, of no fixed address.

And all because he's a Muslim

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