Barbershop owner jailed for using Covid grants to fund terrorists
A Barbershop owner [Tarek Namouz, 43] was jailed for using Covid grants to fund terrorists:
- He was given thousands of pounds of bounce-back loans, which he transferred abroad.
- He was jailed for 12 years for sending Covid relief grants he received from a London council to fund so-called Islamic State terrorists in Syria.
He was found guilty of:
- Eight counts of entering into a funding arrangement for terrorism between November 2020 and May 2021.
- Two counts of possessing terrorist information after videos were found on his phone detailing how to make an improvised explosive device with ball bearings and use knives to carry out a lone wolf attack.
The court was told:
- Namouz ran Boss Crew Barbers in Hammersmith, west London, and received coronavirus relief grants from Hammersmith and Fulham Council during the pandemic.
- However, he sent the funds via a money transfer bureau to help organise terror attacks in Syria.
Namouz was found guilty of the offences following a trial at Kingston Crown Court
- The court heard that during the investigation, police found transfers totalling about £11,280 - but Namouz then told a friend he sent £25,000 to Yahya Ahmed Alia, who he described as an "ex-fighter with Islamic State" who could buy sniper rifles.
- Another £3,000 was found in his bedroom drawer in the flat above his barber shop in Blyth Road.
Namouz denied knowing the money would be used for terrorism, telling police he sent the funds to
- "Help... the poor and needy in Syria".
'Commitment to terrorism'
- During sentencing, Judge Peter Lodder KC told Namouz he was "entitled to Covid bounce back loans", but "you sent that money, and other money, through a west London transfer and currency exchange, to terrorists in Syria".
- However, Namouz interrupted the judge from the dock, claiming "I never sent that money".
- Judge Lodder KC jailed the 43-year-old for 12 years with a further year on extended licence, saying he had demonstrated a "commitment to terrorism" and planned to "re-establish a state run in accordance with extreme Islamic principles".
Namouz replied "thank you, your honour" after he was sentenced, but before he was taken down to the cells he turned to police officers sitting in court and said:
- "May Allah destroy you.
- "We will meet on judgment day. You're a kafir (non-believer) and you will end up in hell."
SOURCE = BBC = https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-64177264
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