Convicted jihadi given top job at London council

A jihadi jailed for helping the London July 21 bombers got a high-profile council job after lying about her past.

Mulumebet Girma, 33, joined Southwark Council after colleagues failed to realise she was linked to one of the country’s most notorious attacks.

The Ethiopian former model rose through the ranks and was even put on the cover of a council magazine to promote its apprenticeship scheme.

Girma on the front of a Southwark Council magazine promoting its apprenticeship scheme

Mulumebet Girma (left, in 2008), 33, rose through ranks of Southwark Council’s housing department, following her release from prison, and featured on its magazine  (right)

But she was sacked after her conviction was exposed for assisting brother-in-law Hussein Osman, who tried to blow up a packed Tube train in 2005.

Her employment raises questions about what measures are taken to vet staff, some of whom have access to databases of vulnerable people.

Details of her convictions can be found in seconds with a simple Google search, aided by her unusual name.

But senior staff said she was not given any access to police ‘watch list’ information and a review of her computer usage uncovered nothing suspicious.

Girma was recruited by the south London local authority as a trainee customer services assistant in 2013, shortly after she was released early from a 10-year jail term.

She did not declare her criminal past and the council failed to uncover it despite her having a key role in one of Britain’s highest profile terror trials.

Girma buys a newspaper in a newsagents in Brighton, as she helped Osman hide from police shortly after the failed bomb plot in 2005

Girma buys a newspaper in a newsagents in Brighton, as she helped Osman hide from police shortly after the failed bomb plot in 2005

One of 40 apprentices taken on that year, she eventually got a permanent job at the council’s Peckham office.

She went on to become a systems and performance analyst in the housing team, appearing as the cover girl of an in-house magazine.

A source told The Sun newspaper: ‘How did she manage to get this job without any checks? All it would take was a Google of her name to see her past.

‘The database she had control over contains clients who are deemed ‘vulnerable.’

‘This is for a whole range of reasons – but one is them being on a watch list, or worries they could be at risk of links to terrorism…’

Mulumebet Girma in 2008

Hussein Osman in 2004

After the 21/7 plot failed, Girma (left, in 2008) and her brother Esayas, picked up bomber Hussein Osman (right, in 2004) and drove him to their sister’s student flat in Brighton

Southwark Tory councillor Michael Mitchell said: ‘This is a truly shocking blunder. Allowing someone with that background to work with potentially vulnerable clients is an entirely avoidable risk. It’s a huge error.’

Girma, of Dartford, Kent, one of a group of in-laws jailed for assisting Osman after the failed atrocity.

She was convicted of hiding the failed suicide bomber at her then home in Brighton and failing to tell police about his plans.

The July 21 bombers attempted to blow up Tube trains and a bus two weeks after terrorists killed 52 passengers in the July 7 attacks.

Hussein Osman (left) , along with Muktar Said Ibrahim (right), Yassin Omar and Ramzi Mohammed, were all jailed for life for conspiracy to murder in July 2007

A huge death toll was averted because the four bombers failed to mix their devices’ chemicals properly.

Osman, along with Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar and Ramzi Mohammed, were all jailed for life for conspiracy to murder in July 2007.

A fifth man, Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, was later jailed for 33 years after admitting conspiracy to cause explosions.

Girma’s sister Yeshi, of Stockwell, south London, brother Esayas and her boyfriend were also convicted of aiding Osman.Yeshi Girma, who was married to Osman, not only helped him escape but removed and destroyed evidence from their home.

Mohammed (left) and Ismail Abdurahman who was jailed for 10 years for helping the plotters

She knew about his deadly plans and had even taken their son to a Lake District terrorism training camp.

His first move after the bombing went wrong was to call her and she picked him up and took him to her sister’s Brighton home where she treated his injuries and disposed of his clothes.

In a statement, Southwark Council chief executive Eleanor Kelly said Girma ‘no longer works for Southwark Council’.

She said: ‘As soon as her background came to light we took immediate action and terminated her employment. She did not disclose her full offence to the council.

‘During her employment this individual never had access to police watch list data. We have fully reviewed her activity while she was employed at the council, including her computer usage, and no wrongdoing was uncovered.

‘We have also undertaken a robust review of our processes and procedures in light of this incident.’

  • c.greenwood@dailymail.co.uk 

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