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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Profile: Yassin Omar
Four men have been convicted of a botched attempt to repeat the devastation of the 7 July attacks in London. Yassin Omar - who attempted to bomb a Tube train approaching Warren Street - disguised himself in a burka in a bid to escape.

Yassin Omar
Born in Somalia in January 1981
Came to UK early 1990s, fostered
March 1999 moved to flat in New Southgate, north London
Took a GNVQ in intermediate science
Carried out Warren Street attack on 21 July

Yassin Omar was perhaps the second most important person in the conspiracy behind the 21 July attacks. While Muktar Ibrahim hatched the plan, it was developed with Omar's support, the seed of the idea apparently coming in September 2004.

But more importantly, Omar's eighth floor flat in north London was the bomb factory. Between April and July 2005 more than 400 litres of hair bleach were brought into his home and chemically altered and augmented to become bombs.

Born in Somalia, he came to Britain with his sisters in the early 1990s but much of his childhood was in local authority care.

In 1993 he was fostered for a time by Steven Lamb and his partner Bernice Campbell, who has since died.

Mr Lamb told the trial Omar was "not comfortable with boundaries and rules" being set by Ms Campbell.

On reaching adulthood Omar was given his own flat and would hang out with his friends, play computer games and watch television.

But his friend, Stephen Bentley, said that during 2000 and 2001 Omar became increasingly attracted to Islam.

Yassin Omar on the train
Yassin Omar fleeing after setting off his bomb

He began wearing a robe and a hat, rather than western clothing, and spoke of his support for the Taleban, who he believed were establishing a truly Islamic state in Afghanistan.

Omar often went to the Finsbury Park mosque to hear the radical preacher Abu Hamza.

Twin Towers

Mr Lamb said he occasionally visited his foster son but lost contact in 2001. On one occasion when he visited he noticed there was little food in the flat and said: "If Allah was so good he would put food on the table."

Omar took exception to his comment and asked him to leave. Mr Lamb tried to visit again but Omar refused to let him in.

CCTV image said to be Yassin Omar in a burka in Birmingham
Omar travelled to Birmingham in a burka after the attacks

Omar was clearly becoming increasingly radicalised and his attitude was epitomised by his response to the attack on the Twin Towers.

At the trial the man who became his brother-in-law said Omar described the 9/11 attacks as a "good thing" and a "worthy cause". Omar believed Muslims were right to bomb the US because the West was against Islam.

His brother-in-law was shocked and argued with Omar, saying that ordinary people had died for no good reason, families had been destroyed. "Do not try to justify that crap to me," he told Omar.

Omar cut himself off from both Muslims who opposed his jihadi rhetoric and non-Muslim friends. He spent more and more time associating with Muktar Ibrahim.

On one occasion in early 2005 Omar challenged the mosque's imam after he had condemned a Palestinian suicide attack in a sermon on the right path for Muslims.

After Sayed Bukhari warned the congregation that suicide bombs were against Islam, Omar argued with him accusing him of misleading the people.

He later apologised - and five days before 21 July, the imam officiated at the first part of Omar's wedding ceremony, the signing of a contract.

Fled to Birmingham

After the failure of the 21 July attacks Omar fled to Birmingham, wearing a full-length face-covering gown, or burka, he had taken from his mother-in-law. He was captured on CCTV - with his tall frame standing out in woman's clothing.

I thought if I was wearing a bag they (the police) would have to think twice and ask what I had got in there - then I would have had a chance to explain
Yassin Omar

During the trial, he claimed the 21 July attacks were only ever intended as a stunt. He claimed he got the idea from the Fathers4Justice campaigners, who threw purple flour at the prime minister in the House of Commons in May 2004.

He told the court: "I hoped that this would be televised, would be shown on TV and taken seriously and that would put pressure on the government after they realised that people have gone to these lengths just to do a demonstration on Iraq."

His eventual arrest was one of the most dramatic moments of the investigation. Twelve fully-armed counter-terrorism officers who had tracked him to the house burst in and moved through the rooms.

Yassin pulled on his rucksack and stood in the bath. Officers saw the rucksack and had to make a split-second decision as to whether or not it was full of explosives.

The lead officer who confronted Omar saw the bomber move his hands downwards. Convinced he was going for the bomb trigger, the officer zeroed his sights on Omar's head and released the safety on his gun.

Amid all the shouting, a violent struggle took place with one officer using a Taser stun gun and another punching Omar in the face to further subdue him.

Prosecuting, Max Hill told the jury: "We invite you to conclude that Omar's conduct on 27 July, consistent with his conduct six days earlier, was that of a man ready and willing to die."






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