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(London) Terror Suspects Very Probably Amateurs, Say Italian Police
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8-2-2005 | Bruce Johnston

Posted on 08/01/2005 6:05:02 PM PDT by blam

Terror suspects very probably amateurs, say Italian police

By Bruce Johnston in Rome
(Filed: 02/08/2005)

Italian police interrogating the suspected Shepherd's Bush July 21 bomber said yesterday he was "very probably" a member of a loose group of amateurs rather than an Islamist militant ring.

Hussain Osman, 27, who was arrested in Rome on Friday, had no links to known terrorist cells, said the police official Carlo de Stefano at a press conference in the Italian capital.

An armed police officer on patrol in Whitehall, central London, yesterday

Investigations "lead us to believe as very probable that he belongs to a spontaneous group rather than a structured organisation that had broader terrorist projects", he said.

Police confirmed that Osman had gained a British passport after using false Somali papers to apply for asylum in Britain in 1996. He was born in Ethiopia as Hamdi Issac, and lived for six years in Italy in the 1990s.

An Italian woman told the newspaper La Repubblica that she had been the suspect's girlfriend when they were both 16 and living in the Italian capital. She described him as her former "handsome Hamdi-Bambi", who loved rap music, America and girls.

Later, however, she said she feared that he had made his Christian Ethiopian wife convert to Islam and wear a veil. He is understood to have had two children with an Ethiopian woman in London.

Maria Sonnessa

Mr de Stefano said he will be extradited to Britain "soon", though the formalities, even under a new fast track European Arrest Warrant, could take up to 90 days, as Osman is likely to contest the request.

Italian judicial sources said yesterday that the Crown Prosecution Service had been asked to prepare unspecified extra paperwork to comply with the request to hand over Osman, after its original submission was deemed "incomplete". If a hearing were not scheduled by Sunday, the British request would expire.

The CPS would not be drawn yesterday on the specific nature of the missing documents concerning the extradition. A spokesman said: "We are working very hard to ensure that the Italian authorities have everything they need in time."

While this might mean Osman walking free, such a scenario was effectively avoided when a judge upheld his arrest yesterday on Italian charges of conspiracy in international terrorism.

Lawyers said the Italian charge should not interfere with any attempt to bring him into British custody alongside the three other suspects. The international terrorism charge will most likely be used as a safety net device, lawyers said.

Osman's lawyer, Maria Antonietta Sonnessa, said he wanted to remain in Italy. She has claimed that her client "did not wish to kill anyone".

Mr de Stefano added that Osman's two brothers, who have also been arrested in Italy in connection with his case, were not linked to any terrorist investigation. One brother, Italian resident Remzi Issac, was charged with possessing false documents.

Mr de Stefano said that he had no information to back up reports that Muktar Said Ibrahim, suspected of being the July 21 ringleader, had recently been in Rome with Osman. He did acknowledge however that Osman had made a call on the mobile phone he was using during his journey from London to Rome by train to another registered in Saudi Arabia.

Mr de Stefano described how investigators monitored Osman's mobile phone calls before arresting him. On Friday, the day of the arrest, police recorded conversations in which Osman talked in Ethiopian dialect used in a border region between Eritrea and Somalia.

"We had the growing feeling that we had really found the fugitive and we decided to take action," he said.

Italian police were also able to confirm Issac's identity by the presence of a wound on the suspect's right leg, which British police claim one of the unsuccessful bombers sustained as he tried to jump over a barrier to escape Shepherd's Bush Tube station following the failed attack.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amateurs; italian; police; probably; suspects; terror

1 posted on 08/01/2005 6:05:04 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

I don't mean to sound rude or make light of the situation, but.....

All suicide bombers are amateurs. You only get one shot.

2 posted on 08/01/2005 6:08:56 PM PDT by PAMadMax (Islam is the enemy of all mankind...AlJazeera is its PR Firm)
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To: PAMadMax; blam

Oh for pete sakes, you beat me to it.


3 posted on 08/01/2005 6:10:58 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: blam

All professionals start off as amateurs.

4 posted on 08/01/2005 6:11:51 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: Cindy

I was going to say, you're unlikely to meet a professional suicide bomber.

5 posted on 08/01/2005 6:15:40 PM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: Cindy

"OK, what did Hajeet Madrurz say...Oh yeah, press this button only when in the middle of a crowd of infid..BANG!"

6 posted on 08/01/2005 6:17:42 PM PDT by PAMadMax (Islam is the enemy of all mankind...AlJazeera is its PR Firm)
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To: blam
You only have one son, and you want him to BlowUp right... right???
So use JIHADD brand Semtex Explosive to show you really care!!!

Money back guarantee if not completely satisfied... or if he lives.

7 posted on 08/01/2005 6:27:01 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: blam

More crap... Shades Of Clinton here... These should be treated as criminal acts, people. There are no countries or organizations behind these terrible acts! These people are entitled to Geneva Convention protections and Jury Trials as well as Legal Aid paid for by the tax-payers. They have rights, dammit! </SARCASM OFF>

8 posted on 08/01/2005 6:27:16 PM PDT by lmr (Thanks to tet68, this tagline has been updated)
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To: blam

Since these guys are willing to blow themselves up for their cause, it would be cool to put them all in a building and blow it up.

9 posted on 08/01/2005 6:27:34 PM PDT by Americanexpat (A strong democracy through citizen oversight.)
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To: blam

Amazing. One story claims they're the "A" team, and another one says definitely "B" or less. I guess it doesn't matter in the long run--they're killers, whether they do it well or not.

10 posted on 08/01/2005 6:35:22 PM PDT by MizSterious (Now, if only we could convince them all to put on their bomb-vests and meet in Mecca...)
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To: MizSterious

I think these amateurs should get Probation without verdict. I know they will never try that again.


11 posted on 08/01/2005 6:43:43 PM PDT by sgtbono2002
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To: blam
"Osman's lawyer, Maria Antonietta Sonnessa, said he wanted to remain in Italy. She has claimed that her client "did not wish to kill anyone"."

I've got a proposal: let's chain a left-wing lawyer on the inside of every subway car in every major city, for the rest of their lives.... we'll feed them well, and maybe even bring them sources of entertainment to help them pass the time. Since they are so confident that Islamo-fascist suicide bombers mean no harm, surely they won't be afraid to die....
12 posted on 08/01/2005 6:56:38 PM PDT by Enchante (Kerry's mere nuisances: Marine Barracks '83, WTC '93, Khobar Towers, Embassy Bombs '98, USS Cole!!!)
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