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Suspect faces extradition hearing

Italian court-appointed lawyer Antonietta Sonnessa talks to reporters.



Great Britain
Acts of terror

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- The suspect arrested in Rome in connection with the July 21 attempted bombings in London faced an extradition hearing Saturday, said Italian prosecutor Franco Ionta.

It could take several days before the judge rules on whether to send suspect Hussain Osman to Great Britain. Scotland Yard said a European arrest warrant could fast-track extradition.

The man is believed by authorities to be the person who planted a bomb at the Shepherd's Bush Underground station.

Late Friday, Osman was questioned at Rome's main police station before being moved to the Regina Celli prison. Several computers were recovered from the scene of the arrest.

Although it is expected he will fight extradition, his court-appointed attorney, Antonetta Sonnessa, said she could not say whether he did or not because that part of the hearing is confidential. She also had no comment on his guilt or innocence.

The suspect's identity has not been entirely clear.

Scotland Yard said the man's name on the European arrest warrant is Hussain Osman. Initially, Italy's Interior Ministry identified the suspect as Osman Hussain, a Somali.

Italian authorities Saturday said he goes by the name of Isaac Hamdi, a name widely reported in the media. His attorney also confirmed the name Isaac, and said he was a 27-year-old naturalized British citizen originally from Ethiopia.

Italy's Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the suspect left London's Waterloo train station five days after the attacks.

En route to Rome, the suspect is thought to have travelled from London to Paris, Milan and other Italian cities, where officials say he made contact with East Africans living in Italy.

"From the investigation it has been possible to identify a dense network of individuals belonging to the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities in Italy, believed to have helped cover his tracks," Pisanu said. "In particular, Osman got in contact with subjects originating from the Horn of Africa."

Italian investigators are examining the possibility of links to suspected East African terror cells in Italy and have conducted security operations in at least 15 Italian provinces in an effort to trace Osman's movements and contacts he made while in Italy.

British police are also questioning four other suspects seized in Britain for the failed bomb attacks.

They came two weeks after four bombers, all British Muslims, killed themselves and 52 other passengers in blasts on three Tube trains and a bus in London.

Police in London have 48 hours to question the four men before they need apply for further extensions.

British authorities have refused to describe the men's possible ties to the attempted bombings, saying it could prejudice their right to a fair trial.

Clarke said one of the men arrested in London identified himself to police as Ibrahim Muktar Said, whom police had previously named as the suspect who planted a backpack bomb on a double-decker bus in Hackney, East London, on July 21.

The police chief said the man arrested with Said at a flat in Peabody Buildings, Dalgarno Gardens, identified himself as Ramzi Mohammed.

Sources close to the investigation told CNN's Henry Schuster two of the three wanted bomber suspects were arrested at Dalgarno Gardens, a government-subsidized apartment building in West London.

Another man was arrested in Tavistock Crescent, in West London, Clarke said, and he will be questioned in relation to the July 21 attacks.

British authorities also arrested Yasin Hassan Omar, another Somali with British residency, in Birmingham on Wednesday. Police said the 24-year-old was suspected of placing a backpack bomb at London's Warren Street Underground station.

London arrests

Dramatic video obtained by ITN of Friday's raids in London showed Ibrahim and Mohammed, said by police sources to be the Oval Station bomb suspect, with their shirts off and hands in the air.

On the balcony below, as police in gas masks tried to enter another apartment, apparently vacant, two curious children approached them. After frantically waving them away, the police left.

Outside, after residents were evacuated, one of the children had reassessed the situation: "I was very scared. I was crying."

Police sources told CNN that no shots were fired in the Dalgarno Gardens raid, although Brian Dempster, the father of the children who were seen in the video near the armed policeman, told ITN he believed the sounds he heard were machine gun fire.

The sources said the initial explosive sounds were the entry door being blown off. This was followed by a period of attempted negotiations that was captured on the ITN tape. The second round of explosions came from police firing tear gas into the flat, the sources said.

One woman, who would not reveal her name, said she heard the entire three-hour exchange between the suspects and police, who had called for "Mohammed" to come out of the building. (Eyewitness accounts)

"Police started to say to him you need to come out of the flat ... with your underwear on and your arms up in the air," she told reporters. "He was then saying to them, 'How do I know that you're not going to ... shoot me?'

"They said you need to come out into the street with your underwear on so that we know that you haven't got any explosives on you, and so that we know that you're not a risk to the police or the public."

She said she heard the exchange from her apartment window, and the man sounded like he may have been crying. After he stopped talking to the police, she said, "a more aggressive police officer got on the loudspeaker and started saying to him, 'You need to maintain contact.'"

"He didn't maintain contact. And after a while you started to see the SWAT teams arriving ... and once they came out, and after about 15 minutes of not having contact with him, you heard like the gunshots go off."

Another raid took place in Notting Hill where another man was arrested.

The location of Friday's operation in West London is about one mile from Little Wormwood Scrubs Park, where police found a fifth undetonated bomb three days after the attempted July 21 bombings.

Police said the bomb was in a plastic container identical to the four partially detonated devices left on three tube train cars and double-decker bus.

The neighborhood is also a little more than a mile from the Shepherd's Bush Underground station, where one of the July 21 bombers failed to detonate a his bomb, then fled, running on a course in the direction of this park.

On Thursday, police arrested nine men in the Tooting area of South London.

Six were detained at one address and three at another, according to Metropolitan Police.

Rome arrest

Italian police confirm that Osman, an Italian speaker, was seized at his brother's apartment. A senior Italian intelligence source says the operation was carried out with the help of Scotland Yard.

Scotland Yard tipped off the Italian authorities and were able to trace Osman's cell phone as he traveled from London to Rome, CNN's Jennifer Eccleston said.

The cell phone helped track Osman to a Rome apartment in an area known as Casilino -- a neighborhood heavily populated by internationals, primarily North Africans.

Rome's anti-terrorist prosecutors confirmed Osman's brother was also arrested for carrying false Italian documents.

CNN's Nic Robertson, Alessio Vinci, Phil Hirschkorn, Andrew Carey, Henry Schuster and Jennifer Eccleston contributed to this report.

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