Thursday, 13 November 2014

Caught in the act: Woman jailed for funding Syria jihadis

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A woman who became the first person to be convicted of funding jihadis in Syria, after she tried to send cash to her jihadi husband, has been jailed for more than two years.

Amal El-Wahabi, 28, hoodwinked an old school friend into agreeing to take €20,000 (£15,830) in cash to Turkey for her husband, Aine Davis, a drug dealer who went to Syria to fight in July last year.

The plan was foiled when Nawal Msaad, also 27, was stopped at Heathrow before boarding a flight to Istanbul and produced the rolled up notes from her underwear.

Msaad, of Holloway, north London, and El-Wahabi, of north-west London, had denied the charge of making money available with “reasonable cause to suspect that it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism”.

Following an Old Bailey trial, a jury found mother-of-two El-Wahabi guilty and cleared Msaad.

Jailing El-Wahabi for 28 months and seven days, the judge, Nicholas Hilliard QC, told her that from the evidence it was clear that Davis had gone to Syria to fight under the black flag of Isis and also that he had “no true regard” for her.

He said: “I am also satisfied that you knew he was engaged in violence with guns for extremist religious and ideological reasons, and knew the money you were sending was destined for that purpose.”

The judge said Davis’s profile picture on WhatsApp showing him brandishing an automatic weapon was a particularly shocking image, making it clear what he was doing in Syria, along with other images he sent her posing with guns.

Hilliard told her: “I am satisfied that the initiative for this offence must have come from Aine Davis and you committed it because you were infatuated with him and thought he might provide for you and your two children.

“You even contemplated taking your children to Turkey to be nearer their father, when it should have been obvious to you it was in their interests they should be as far away from him as possible. He had no true regard for you. Any interest he had in you was only engaged when there was some advantage to him.”

He added: “You have two children aged five and 17 months or so, to whom you are devoted. Your children are the innocent victims of the offence you have committed and indirectly victims of what Aine Davis was engaged in. They are entirely blameless.”

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