The main suspect in the Parsons Green bombing was only arrested because he was wearing a Chelsea football top as he prepared to flee the country, it has been claimed.
A sharp-eyed police officer saw him loitering near the departure area for a cross-Channel ferry and thought he was acting suspiciously.
When the officer approached the young man he recognised him from a CCTV image that had been circulated to ports officials, sources say.
The suspect told the officer that he was waiting for a friend before catching the ferry to Holland but the officer arrested him and alerted senior officers.
Ahmed Hassan, 18, had allegedly fled by bus after leaving a bomb on the District Line nearly 24 hours earlier. The scene is pictured
The Parsons Green tube bomb, which was in a white tub and carried in a Lidl cooler bag, exploded at about 8.20am after the bomber set a timer and left the tube at Putney Bridge
Ahmed Hassan, 18, had allegedly fled by bus after leaving a bomb on the District Line nearly 24 hours earlier.
Contrary to previous reports, police had not yet been able to identify and track their suspect when the officer spotted him.
Investigators believe he planned to board a ferry on foot and pay for the ticket in cash.
The Parsons Green tube bomb, which was in a white tub and carried in a Lidl cooler bag, exploded at about 8.20am after the bomber set a timer and left the tube at Putney Bridge.
The device was packed with knives and screwdrivers in an apparent attempt to cause as much death and injury as possible. An injured victim is pictured being led away from the scene
The device was packed with knives and screwdrivers in an apparent attempt to cause as much death and injury as possible.
Investigators say the knives and screwdrivers would have acted as flying shrapnel to magnify the deadly effect of the bomb.
The detonator, which was made using TATP – the same explosive used in the Manchester Arena attack – sent a fireball halfway down the carriage, one source said.
The tube carriage was packed with schoolchildren and commuters. One of the 30 victims is still in hospital with ‘life changing’ burns to her legs, hands and face.
Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in Kent are still trying to establish why the main charge – which was made from several hundred grams of TATP, a homemade explosive dubbed ‘Mother of Satan’ – did not go off.
The tube carriage was packed with schoolchildren and commuters. One of the 30 victims is still in hospital with “life changing” burns to her legs, hands and face
Some of the chemicals had been bought on the Amazon website at the end of August, sources revealed.
Hassan had been living in Sunbury in Surrey with foster parents Penny Jones, 71, a former prison guard, and her husband Ron Jones, 89, a former warehouse worker, who had fostered 268 children and were awarded the MBE in 2010.
Hassan arrived in Britain in 2015 when he is understood to have lived in an immigration hostel and told immigration officials that both his parents were killed in Iraq.
He is said to have been quiet and studious and a keen photographer and had studied English and maths at a local college.
Mr and Mrs Jones’s son, Spencer, 45, said at the weekend: ‘I want people to know they are loving, caring people. They don’t deserve what’s happened to them. Their only crime has been seeing a child and wanting to love them, wanting to try and treat them as a human being.’
Hassan is charged with the attempted murder of travellers on a District Line train from Wimbledon on September 15 under section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981
A second charge alleges he maliciously used triacetone triperoxide (TATP) or another explosive substance to cause an explosion of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, contrary to section two of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Six people who were arrested in London, Newport and Cardiff have all been released without charge.
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