Residents of the community that harboured a failed July 21 bomb plotter were left "shocked" and "upset" when he admitted his involvement last week.

Manfo Asiedu, of Ballards Lane, Finchley, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey on Friday to conspiracy to cause explosions. His retrial for plotting the failed suicide attacks was due to begin on Monday.

The 34-year-old, who came to the UK on a false Ghanaian passport, confessed to making the bombs with convicted terrorists Muktar Ibrahim, 29, Yassin Omar, 26, Ramzi Mohammed, 26, and Hussein Osman, 29.

He was supposed to target White City Tube station in west London but dumped his device in nearby Little Wormwood Scrubs Park after losing his nerve.

The four other men were found guilty in July this year of conspiracy to murder and were sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in jail, but the jury failed to reach a verdict on Asiedu.

The "fifth bomber" was due to face a re-trial this week, charged with conspiracy to murder, but changed his plea at the last minute, admitting the lesser charge of conspiracy to cause explosions.

Asiedu, who says his real name is Sumailia Abubakari, was a cleaner at the Finchley Mosque, High Road, North Finchley, where he joined the football team and was known as Ishamael or "Smiler".

Speaking after the court hearing, Mufti Barkatullah, the senior Iman at the time, described Asiedu as a "vulnerable" character whom he believes was easily lead.

"We tried to help him settle in," Mr Barkatullah said. "He was so destitute, he slept rough for a while and lived on the edge. He was easy prey for falling into any criminal activity I think, easy to be recruited."

When Asiedu was arrested, Mr Barkatullah requested to visit him in prison as he believed his initial plea of innocence. He added: "It upset many people and now to find he has pleaded guilty, it makes us very sober. In a way, we are very gullible as we always want to help anyone who comes and seems destitute. We have always spoken against it terrorism and are sad this sort of thing gives the mosque a bad name."

Alka Shah, of Carters Pharmacy, in Ballards Lane, said: "It is very shocking. To think it was someone you may have served and said hello to and then they do something like this, it is not good."

Asiedu had lived for a time with two of the bombers at the New Southgate flat used to assemble the bombs.

During the last trial he claimed he thought the devices he helped make were fake until the night before the five men launched their attack.

Born in northern Ghana, Asiedu paid US$400 in July 2003 for a false Ghanaian passport, fake bank statements and a bogus invitation to the UK.

After arriving at Heathrow Airport on a six-month visa in December 2003 he spent his first month at the home of William Ansa-Otu, a Ghanaian cab driver, in Grange Avenue, Finchley.

He was turned down to work for catering company Arrowmark, which supplies major airlines, and went to the British Army recruitment office in central London, but was unable to provide his birth certificate.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Counter Terrorism Command, said: "Asiedu is the latest in what is becoming a long line of terrorists pleading guilty to their offences. This shows the scale of the threat we are facing and the strength of the evidence we are putting before the courts.

"Asiedu was one of the terrorists who wanted to bring a fresh wave of carnage to London on July 21, 2005, just two weeks after 52 members of the public had been killed by terrorists."

Asiedu will be sentenced on November 19 at Kingston Crown Court.