Arrest made in London Tube bombing
Eighteen-year-old Iraqi-Britain refugee Ahmed Hassan was charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion in breach of the Explosive Substances Act early Friday morning on Sept. 15.
An explosion at the Parsons Green tube station injured 22 people within the central London borough of Fulham, leaving one woman with “life-changing injuries, having suffered severe burns to her face, hands and legs,” according to The Guardian.
The first Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the city “utterly condemns the hideous individuals who attempt to use terror to harm us and destroy our way of life,” according to the Guardian. According to Downing Street, prime minister Theresa May swiftly called a meeting of the government’s Cobra crisis response committee to respond to the manhunt Mayor Khan has described in press releases.
The Guardian reported that Hassan “was arrested in the departure lounge at Dover’s ferry port last Saturday morning, before he could board a ferry to France.” The device contained triacetone triperoxide — a powerful explosive — a timer and shrapnel such as broken glass, knives and screws.
Details of what prompted Hassan to act are unknown; however, the young man had lost both his parents in Iraq, where he is said to have been detained and tortured. Hassan had been living with a foster couple leading up to the incident. This attack is listed among four others occurring within the past six months in the UK.
Reports point to Myanmar government participating in ethnic cleansing
Amnesty International reported mass village arson attacks across the northern Rakhine State of Myanmar on Sept. 14 where vigilante mobs and Myanmar Border Guard Police have been burning down entire Rohingya [Muslim minority] villages and shooting people at random as they try to flee.
“The violence is part of an unlawful and disproportionate response [by the Myanmar government] to coordinated attacks on security posts by a Rohingya armed group on 25 August,” said Amnesty International. Since the 1962 Burmese coup d’état, most Muslims have been excluded from serving in government positions, leaving the Rohingyas with insufficient legal representation.
The UN classifies the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar as one of the most persecuted groups in the world. Since 1978, there have been multiple cases of rape, arson, and lootings; since 2012, tensions have risen between the majority (80%) Buddhist population and Muslim (4%) communities when three Rohingya men were unjustly accused of rape, leading to the 2012 Rakhine State Riots.
As of Aug. 25, more than 429,000 Muslim refugees have fled Bangladesh (Myanmar) for their lives, fearing the situation will only tilt less in their favor.