A SUICIDE bomber from Thornhill Lees was a much-loved worker at a primary school.
And today, the school headteacher spoke of her shock after discovering she used to work with Mohammed Sidique Khan - one of the London bombers.
Sarah Balfour, head of Hillside Primary School in Beeston, Leeds, said staff and pupils were "devastated" to discover that the learning mentor was one of the bombers.
She said: "Sidique Khan was a member of staff at Hillside Primary School and he was employed here between March, 2001, and December, 2004, as a learning mentor.
"He was great with the children and they all loved him.
"He did so much for them, helping and supporting them and running extra clubs and activities.
"Sidique was a real asset to the school and always showed 100% commitment."
Ms Balfour confirmed that Khan left the school in December last year after three-and-a-half years, although he had been on sick leave since the previous September.
Miss Balfour added: "We are extremely shocked and find it hard to understand. He was 100% committed to the school and the children and he worked extremely hard with everyone here."
Police have linked 30-year-old Khan to the Edgware Road blast after finding personal documents.
Police were today mingling with passengers at the Edgware Road station - exactly a week after the blast which killed seven.
Khan, a married father of one, lived in Thornhill Lees with his wife Hasina and baby daughter.
The family had only moved there relatively recently and it appears Khan was not well known among the local Muslim community. This morning, parents at the school where Khan used to work spoke of their shock at discovering their children were helped by a London suicide bomber.
Parent Sharon Stevens, whose 11-year-old daughter attends the Beeston school, said: "I'm just shocked. He was brilliant with the children. He went on trips with the kids and my little girl went with him on a trip to London.
"If you had any problems, he used to sort them out.
"I'm just devastated. Just shocked. I am just totally shocked."
More details of the secret life of a "quiet" man who became a suicide bomber were revealed today.
Friends and neighbours of Khan told of their shock at the news.
They said they could not believe 30-year-old Khan carried out one of the London terror bombings.
And they told how the family man, who lived in a quiet street in Thornhill Lees, worked with disabled children.
Khan blew himself up on the Edgware Road train, police believe - killing seven other people.
As a learning mentor in primary schools, he helped immigrant children settle into education when they arrived in Britain. The friendly assistant, who acted as first day "buddy" to youngsters at the Hillside Primary School, in Beeston, Leeds, is seen smiling in a photograph taken at the school in 2002.
The eldest of the suspects to be named, the 30-year-old lived in Lees Holm, Thornhill Lees, with his wife Hasina and their 14-month daughter.
He is known to have also worked with disabled children and is believed to have booked time off school to take part in the bombings. The family had only moved there relatively recently and it appears Khan was not well known among the local Muslim community. Neighbours said Khan originally lived in Leeds, having moved to the council-owned property from the Beeston area, where he is thought to have run an Islamic bookshop.
According to other neighbours in the quiet Dewsbury cul-de-sac, Khan's family came from Pakistan, whereas his wife's family had origins in India. Khan is thought to have become a liaison officer at another school following his move to Dewsbury.
His mother-in-law, Farida Patel, lives with her son Arshad in nearby Thornhill Park Avenue, in a house which was also raided by police.
She is said to be a highly respected volunteer worker who was once invited to Buckingham Palace. Khan's wife is thought to be involved in education and locals have suggested she was pregnant with their second child. She was last seen on Tuesday morning leaving the house with police. Her husband had not been seen since last week. Neighbour Imran Zaman, described Khan as a "quiet person".
"He kept himself to himself," he said. "He was a nice bloke, but who would have thought he would have done something like this?
"Most people are shocked and cannot believe this would happen on their own doorstep."
He added: "I never knew he had a religious background. I go to the local mosque and have never seen him there."
A local community leader, who asked not to be identified, said it was likely Khan had met the other men - who were all believed to be friends - - away from the Dewsbury area.
He said: "These groups, extremist Islamic groups, have very strong recruitment where the local community is not very close knit.
"In Dewsbury the local Muslim community is very close knit and they have been told by the imams to stay away."
Documents belonging to Khan were found in the debris of the Edgware Road blast.
Mr Zaman, who has lived in Lees Holm for about eight years, spoke from the edge of a police cordon, which has closed off most of the quiet residential street in the Thornhill Lees area.
He said the area was a mix of ethnic communities, who all got on well.
"I've never had any problems and I've lived here since 1997," he said.
"There's been the odd parking dispute but nothing major has ever happened here - it's not as if there has been any riots.
"It's generally a nice area around here with kids playing in the streets."
Yesterday, police searched the home of her mother, Farida Patel, in Thornhill Park Avenue - a few streets away from Lees Holm.
Mrs Patel, who is well known in the local community, is a retired teacher whose husband died 15 months ago.
A neighbour of her daughter, who declined to be named, said Mrs Patel was not very religious.
"Her mother is well known around here," he said.
"She's not religious and keeps away from the Muslim community and that's why she chooses to live where she lives.
"She was the type of woman who if someone said `Women should stay at home', she would get very upset."
Khan and two other bombers from Leeds, Hasib Mir Hussain, 19, and Shehzad Tanweer, 22, are thought to have used hire cars to travel from West Yorkshire to Luton last Thursday morning.
They met up with another man and all four men then boarded a Thameslink rail service to King's Cross where they were captured on CCTV just before 8.30am carrying large rucksacks.
They then set out to deliver their bombs.
A senior security source, who has viewed the CCTV footage, said: "They were chatting. You would think they were on a hiking holiday."
Khan's death came almost at the same time - 8.50am - as a yet unnamed bomber blew himself up on a train between King's Cross and Russell Square. Nearly an hour later Hasib Hussain who lived with his parents in the Leeds suburb of Holbeck, killed himself in the explosion on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.