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Italy to give up bombing suspect

LONDON – An Italian court Wednesday approved the extradition to Britain of a suspect wanted in connection with failed coordinated attacks last month on subway trains and a London bus.

Issac Hamdi, 27, an Ethiopian-born man accused of trying to blow up a subway train on July 21, is expected to be flown to Britain in 35 days, following the conclusion of Italian investigations. Hamdi, who London police said carried a backpack of explosives onto the subway at the Shepherd’s Bush station, has said through his attorney in Italy that he did not intend to kill anyone but was planning a “demonstration” against U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

The attorney said that Hamdi, a British citizen also known as Osman Hussain, carried explosives in his bag made of flour and a liquid hair product.

Hamdi is one of five alleged bombers under arrest, accused of planning to carry out attacks similar to bombings on subway trains and a bus on July 7 that killed 56 people, including four suspected bombers. On Wednesday, police listed formal charges against the other four.

Italian police arrested Hamdi on July 29 at his brother’s apartment in Rome where he was tracked through cell phone calls. His attorney, Antonietta Sonnessa, told reporters she would fight the extradition and did not think he could get a fair trial in Britain.

Meanwhile, the family of a Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, who was killed mistakenly by police a day after the attempted bombings, charged Wednesday that police had given misleading information about the circumstances of the man’s death.

The family reacted after ITV News broadcast a report Tuesday night that contradicted an official version that Menezes had been wearing a heavy jacket and had run from police.

“The police’s version has not only been shown to be incorrect, but the public were deliberately misled. It’s evident we have been told lies and half-truths about how Jean died,” said Asad Rehman, a family spokesman.

The details reported by ITV News, including photographs and quoting witness statements and documents, indicated Menezes was wearing light clothing and directly contradicted police statements that he acted suspiciously and did not comply with orders to stop. His death also raised questions about police procedures and whether the officers involved would face criminal trials.

Police have defended their “shoot to kill” policy as necessary when less forceful tactics could allow a suicide bomber to detonate explosives.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said Wednesday that there would be no comment until the investigation into the death was complete.


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