Widow of British bomber in court

The widow of a British Muslim suspected of plotting an attack in Israel broke down in court insisting she had no idea of his plans.

    Asif Hanif (L) and Umar Sharif before their mission

    The trial at London's Central Criminal Court had to be briefly halted on Tuesday, after 28-year-old Tahira Tabassum who faces charges of failing to tell authorities about the plot began sobbing as she recounted what the email said.
      
    She told the court that the message was confusing and she had simply believed that her husband, Umar Khan Sharif, intended to leave her and their two children.
      
    "I felt very sad," she told the jury of the email sent 8 days before the attack in which Sharif was implicated, putting her hands to her face and sobbing, prompting the judge to halt the case.
      
    After the adjournment, Tabassum said that "all I understood from the email was that Umar was leaving me". 
      
    Fellow Briton

    The 27-year-old Sharif was the suspected accomplice of Asif Muhammad Hanif, a fellow Briton who killed three people and himself in a bomb attack on Mike's Place pub in Tel Aviv on 30 April last year.
     
    Hanif, 27, was the first westerner to carry out such an attack in Israel since the start of the current Palestinian uprising in September 2000.
      
    Israeli authorities claim that Sharif fled after failing to set off his own bomb.

    His body was found floating in the sea off the coast of Israel 12 days later. 

    Charges

    Tabassum, along with Sharif's brother Zahid, 37, and sister Parveen, 36, are charged with failing to disclose information about terrorism. Parveen, a teacher, is also charged with inciting Sharif to commit an act of terrorism.
      
    However under questioning, Tabassum insisted that the first thing she knew about the bombing was when someone telephoned her and said it was on television news. 

    "I felt very sad...all I understood from the email was that Umar was leaving me"

    Tahira Tabassum

    "I discovered there was a suicide bomb in Israel and Umar's name and picture were on the television. It was very shocking to see him on the television," she said.
      
    Had she known what Sharif was planning she would have acted to prevent it, the widow argued.
      
    "Obviously I would be upset and very sad. I would do everything to stop him. First and foremost because he is my husband, I love him. That is the obvious reason. Secondly, it is wrong what he is wanting to do."

    SOURCE: AFP


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