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A Muslim man, who outraged many in the UK last year by dressing as a suicide bomber during protests against the Danish publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammed, has been hired to clean trains at night – something that has other employees concerned for their safety.
Omar Khayam’s picture – taken outside the Danish embassy in London, complete with fake suicide belt – was seen around the world in February 2006, only half a year after the July 7, 2005, train bombings in London that killed more than 50 people.
The attention Khayam drew to himself resulted in a return to prison for a 2002 drug conviction. He was on parole at the time of the protests and, though he later apologized for his “insensitive” bit of street theater, authorities determined his actions were a violation of parole.
Freed early, Khayam has been employed by First Capital Connect in Cambridge, cleaning trains at night.
A spokesman for First Group, the parent company, indicated there was no cause for concern.
“We are subject to UK employment law and carry out all necessary employment checks. The safety of customers and employees is our main priority,” he told the Cambridge Evening News.
But it’s safety that has the train company’s employees worried and some are not buying the company’s reassurances.
Angry train drivers told the Sun the safety of workers and passengers had been put at risk.
“It’s an astonishing security breach,” one driver said. “We cannot believe this man is employed in a job giving him access to locked places on trains where bombs could be hidden and never be found.
“He has keys that could be passed on to others for the electrical cupboards in carriages. It is a risk too far.”