J7 Profile: Hasib Mir Hussain (Age: 18)
Hasib Mir Hussain: Alleged to be responsible for the number 30 bus blast in Tavistock Square
Hasib was born on September 16th 1986 in Leeds General Infirmary, the youngest of four children to Maniza and Mahmood Hussain. He lived in the Holbeck area of Leeds with his parents, older brother and sister-in-law.
He attended Thomas Danby College in Leeds, where he had gained an AVCE in business this year and was awaiting the results of the five NVQs he had taken at the time of the London bombings. He had previously attended Matthew Murray High School in Beeston from 1998 to 2003, during which time he had a good attendance record. He achieved GCSEs in English language, English literature, maths, science, Urdu, design technology and a GNVQ in business studies.
In the days following the release of Hasib’s identity as one of the suspects, people who knew him gave widely varying accounts of the type of young man he was.
The Mirror reported that he was ‘full of hate’ from the age of 14 when he threatened terror against classmates in the wake of September 11 and it was also reported that he had been withdrawn from sitting his GCSEs by the school. However, these claims were rubbished by the headmaster of the school who stated:
"There has been a lot of misinformation spread about this young man. He did the GCSEs, contrary to reports in the media, and he did not spread leaflets of hate mail around the school. It's just not true. We are as staggered as anyone else that this has happened and there was absolutely no indication during his time here that it would.”
Hussain was described as 'a charmer who liked to flirt' by Associated Press Writer Scheherezade Faramarzi after speaking to a friend who also spoke of Hasib’s sense of humour and style.
"He was an ordinary lad. He always smiled as he walked past our house. He was soft-spoken and calm."
He was described by a friend whom The Guardian newspaper as “A charmer who liked to flirt”. The friend also spoke of Hasib’s sense of humour and style, citing the blue contact lenses he would sometimes wear, adding:
“He was a good lad…a good looking man. He had a good personality.”
Another friend told the Evening Standard, “Hasib was someone I looked up to. He was a gentle giant.”
There were a few reports from the community that until the summer of 2004, Hasib was also known for his clubbing and occasional drug taking. However, The Guardian reported that such activities made Hasib no different from any other teenager in the area and that according to his friends, just days before the London bombings, Hasib had little else to talk about but cars, girls and sport.
Hasib Hussain lay sprawled upon the short grass of Cross Flatt's Park, the ribbon of green that borders the red-bricked houses of Beeston. It was four days before the London bombings and the 18-year-old was enjoying a final reefer with childhood friends. As another long summer night in Leeds dissolved into darkness, Hussain betrayed none of the radicalism that would shortly immortalise the teenager as the youngest suicide bomber to strike western Europe.
Instead the patter never strayed from the norm: who was going out with whom, who was driving what, who'd found a job. 'When you grow up with someone and smoke weed with them it normally means you're close,' said a lifelong friend of Hussain last Thursday night.
It was also said that he had been cautioned for shoplifting in the same year. This was reported to have been of great concern to his parents, who were said to have sent him to Pakistan and also paid for him to do the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Many reports spoke of how Hasib had returned from the trips devoutly religious, eschewing jeans and T-shirts for robes and a topi hat and growing a beard. However, this is disputed by Hasib’s family, who stated that Hasib had only ever visited Pakistan once since he was a baby and this was to attend his brother’s wedding three years ago. His brother also said:
“There was absolutely no sign of him becoming devoutly religious. He wore jeans and trainers, just like me."
Hasib apparently loved sport, particularly cricket and football and played for local teams. He had been taking driving lessons from his father and had definite plans for the type of car he planned to buy; only a few days before he died he was enthusiastically showing his mother a car magazine which had a picture of the car he wanted. His father says Hasib was very sensible with his money, and would save his pocket money, only using it to buy clothing and everyday items. He never showed any signs of having any more money than his allowance from his parents. According to his family, he loved the London sights, particularly the London Eye and would often talk to his sisters and nieces about them.
In an interview given to the Mail on Sunday Hasib's father spoke of how Hasib was engaged to be married to a girl in Pakistan, with whom he had formed a close relationship through numerous telephone conversations, and also of Hasib's confidence in his academic future:
"'It was Hasib's choice. The marriage was agreed after he had seen her photograph and been shown a video. Nobody stood in his way. Hasib and her were to marry before he had finished his education.' The father-of-four insisted that his son had been free to call off the engagement at any time.
Mr Hussain said: 'There was absolutely no pressure on Hasib - he told me he was very happy to marry this girl.' He declined to identify her because he 'did not want her to get involved' but confirmed that she had been told of her would-be husband's death.
Mr Hussain said: 'I could not bring myself to speak to her.
She was told by our relatives in Pakistan. She and Hasib had spoken regularly on the telephone, and she was naturally devastated.' Mr Hussain said that the day after Hasib set off the bomb on the No 30 bus in Tavistock Square which killed himself and 13 innocent people, the family learned he had scored distinctions in four out of the five National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) exams he sat at Thomas Danby College in Leeds - easily enough to fulfil his apparent dream of taking a business degree at Leeds Metropolitan University.
He said his youngest child had 'never been in any doubt' that he would pass the NVQ exams.
'Hasib was so confident. I would try and discuss with him what we would do if he didn't get the grades and he would just say, "Don't worry, Dad. It won't be a case of me having to write to them, they will be coming to me.
Just you wait and see.'' 'It was as though Hasib considered that it was part of his destiny to go to university.
He had complete faith in himself"
Source: Mail on Sunday (Via HighBeam)
Hasib's parents last saw him on Wednesday, the day before the bombings when he had told them he was going to London with some friends. This was backed up by a report in The Independent which stated:
One of the last conversations he had with his parents was on Wednesday afternoon. He told his mother, Maniza, that he intended to travel down to London the next day with 'a few of the lads'. He was casual about his plans, according to a resident, who said he had told Mrs Hussain: 'I might go to London for the night and come back tomorrow morning.' His mother saw him asleep on the sofa a few hours later. She thought nothing of his plans. 'He goes to stay with friends two or three times a month,' said the resident.
Hasib is suspected of detonating a bomb on the No.30 bus in Tavistock Square on the July 7th.
As with the reports of his character, accounts of exactly what he did on that day are widely conflicting. He was said to have left Kings Cross station after being unable to get onto a tube train due to the Northern Line being suspended. This theory appears to be based on an unauthenticated claim of responsibility which implied that the bombs had been intended for the north, south, east and west of the city. However, the Northern Line was, in fact, not suspended and Hasib could easily have caught a train to a destination north of Kings Cross, not only on that line but on other underground lines which were also open.
There are confusing reports as to what Hasib did after leaving the concourse of Kings Cross. Some claim that he went to have a meal in McDonalds. Others state that he tried to make frantic phone calls to the other men. The Times reports that:
Hussain is believed to have first called Mohammad Sidique Khan, 30, the alleged leader of the group, saying: “I can’t get on a train. What should I do ?” Then in quick succession he left the same message for Shehzad Tanweer and Jermaine Lindsay as, clearly agitated about his next move, he hurried away from the station. A police source who has heard the telephone calls said: “His voice was getting more and more frantic with each call.” Investigators could tell from his breathless voice that Hussain was walking fast as he made these calls.
This suggests that he was not sitting in McDonalds whilst making the calls. In the same report, it is stated:
After his stop at McDonald’s Hussain climbed on to a passing No 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square.
This is at odds with the reports that it is not known where or when Hasib boarded the bus and also conflicts with reports that the No.30 was the second bus that Hasib had taken after leaving Kings Cross. Confusingly, Hasib was reported to have been making the phone calls whilst walking down a street at 9am, and also sitting in McDonalds having a meal at 9am. The Home Office narrative states: "9.02am Hussain goes into McDonald’s on Euston Road, leaving about ten minutes later." Yet when a CCTV image of him was released on the day after the Bali bombings, exiting a chemist’s onto the main concourse of Kings Cross station, the timestamp at the bottom was 9am. According to other reports, Kings Cross was already being evacuated by 9am, yet the photo shows no evidence of this.
A passenger on the number 30 bus, Richard Jones, described how an ‘agitated young man’ rummaging in a small bag had made him decide to leave the bus between stops, just before the bus exploded. However, it is clear that the man Richard Jones saw could not possibly have been Hasib Hussain, not just because Richard Jones says he was on the bottom deck of the bus whereas the bomb was at the back of the upper deck, but because the description he gave of the young man that he saw does not match the physical description of Hasib as given by the police and shown in the CCTV pictures which were released.
Another oddity is that Hasib was identified due to the apparently unique injuries sustained by suicide bombers due to the explosives they strap on to their bodies. It is perhaps strange that he would have been identified by these unique injuries caused by strap on explosives when it was stated that he was carrying his bomb in a rucksack.
In the days following the bombings, Hasib’s family released the following statement:
"We, the family of Hasib Mir Hussain, are devastated over the events of the past few days. Hasib was a loving and normal young man who gave us no concern and we are having difficulty taking this in. Our thoughts are with all the bereaved families and we have to live ourselves with the loss of our son in these difficult circumstances. We had no knowledge of his activities and if we had, we would have done everything in our power to stop him. We urge anyone with information about these events, or leading up to them, to cooperate fully with the authorities. This is a difficult time and we ask you to let us grieve for our son in private.”
On August 2nd 2005, Hasib Hussain's brother said:
"Two weeks before he disappeared he called my mother to his room. He was sitting on the bed and asked her to get rid of the spider in there. He was so gentle. He was built like me physically, but people got the wrong idea - he was a big softie. We've not been shown any other forensic evidence to link him. It's just the credit card. I still think there will be evidence to prove he is innocent."