In an extraordinary display of courage and composure, a patient at St James’ Hospital in Leeds is credited with preventing a potential act of violence by engaging in an hours-long conversation with an individual who allegedly planned to detonate an explosive device on the premises, according to details revealed in a recent court session.
The accused, Mohammad Farooq, a 28-year-old clinical support worker at the hospital, is currently on trial, facing charges of preparing acts of terrorism. The moment when Farooq was arrested can be viewed by scrolling down to the bottom of this article.
The prosecution claims that Farooq was apprehended on hospital grounds in January with a functioning pressure cooker bomb, reminiscent of the one used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Nathan Newby, who was admitted to the hospital for a lung infection, became the impromptu negotiator after approaching Farooq out of concern.
During his police interview, which was later presented in court, Mr Newby recalled his initial intent was to offer comfort, stating, “I thought, if he was down, I’d try and cheer him up,” demonstrating his ability to read people’s body language.
The court was told that Farooq had expressed a desire for “time out” during his arrest. Mr Newby recounted the chilling moment Farooq revealed the contents of his bag, leading to a tense encounter where Newby’s primary focus was to steer the situation away from the hospital to ensure public safety.
In a brave act of mediation, Mr Newby convinced Farooq to relocate to a bench, where he spent several hours talking him down. The resolution came when Farooq expressed a wish to surrender, handing over his phone for Mr Newby to call the emergency services.
This period of negotiation came to a head when Farooq disclosed the presence of an imitation handgun, further complicating the already precarious situation.
The court was shown footage of the moment Farooq was apprehended at the hospital by armed police, who conducted the arrest with professionalism and caution, as heard in the body-cam recordings.
Farooq’s trial unveiled his possession of a fabricated firearm and bomb, which he claimed could be ignited easily, assembled with materials sourced from a local shop.
The arrest was made without incident, with Farooq appearing despondent and cooperative during the process.
The case also heard of Farooq’s alleged previous attempt to target RAF Menwith Hill in Harrogate before turning his attention to the hospital due to accessibility issues.
Farooq has pleaded not guilty to the charges of preparing acts of terrorism, spanning from July 2021 to January 2023, and the legal proceedings are ongoing.
1/2 Unseen Heroism Revealed: @WestYorksPolice BWC footage captures the tense moments leading to the arrest of a would-be bomber at St James's Hospital, showcasing the power of vigilant citizens and rapid police response in preserving life and averting tragedy. pic.twitter.com/sGqWsowjdk— Emergency-Services.News (@ES_News_) November 7, 2023
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