Hasib Hussain, thought to have been the bomber of the Number 30 bus ripped apart in Tavistock Square, was 18, making him one of the world’s youngest suspected suicide bombers.
He lived in a terraced red brick house in Colenso Mount in Holbeck, a quiet multi-racial area of Leeds where washing flaps on lines suspended across some streets.
Born locally on September 16 1986, Hussain lived with his brother, his father – a factory charge hand – and his mother. It was she who, like thousands of other people worried about being unable to contact loved ones in London by mobile phone, rang the police, setting off their trail.
He was a pupil at Matthew Murray High School where he was a good attender in Leeds, where he had a good attendance rate and proved a very satisfactory student passing GCSEs in English language, English literature, maths, science (double award), design technology and Urdu. He also passed a GNVQ in business studies with merit. H
Some local people said that he had had a rather wild patch in his adolescence but had subsequently become more devout two years ago. .
Accounts of him from those who had known him at school diverged greatly along racial lines. From a youth who had known him at school: “He was a very good lad; he kept himself to himself,” said 18-year-old Jameel Hussain (no relation). “There had been riots at school but he just stood and watched; he was a good lad,” said Billal Hussain, 15.
However, a group of white youths who talked of fights between “whites and Pakis” gave a different picture of Hussain who they said was very tall. “He was massive. Over 6ft tall,” said Danny Thomlinson, aged 20. “He was a bit argumentative”.
“He got on with his work but he had a short fuse,” said 18-year-old Dale Bingham.
A neighbour, 23-year-old Wendy Pearcey, knew Hussain and his family. “They were respectable people, decent working-class people.”
She added: “Hussain, kept himself to himself. He was quiet.”
According to Ms Pearcey he wore western clothes and there was nothing to mark him out for particular attention. “There are a lot of Asians around here, he just blended in. He just went to school quietly.”
On Wednesday Colenzo Mount was sealed off and workmen were erecting scaffolding at the front of the family home to screen it off completely.