Birmingham men suspected of giving £3,000 to ‘man in the hat’ before Brussels bombing appear in court

Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil, both 26, appeared before Westminster Magistrates charged with supplying £3,000 for terrorism activities on or before July 7 last year.

Mr Ahmed is also accused with Mr Boufassil’s sister Soumaya Boufassil, 29, of collecting money for terrorist purposes between January 1 2015 and April 8 this year.

The three defendants are all from the Small Heath area of Birmingham and have links to Belgium, Turkey and Morocco. They had a French interpreter to help them understand proceedings in court, but all spoke good English as they confirmed their names and dates of birth.

Mother-of-two Mrs Boufassi, a Belgian national, is also accused of taking £16,000 from three bank accounts as part of a plan to travel to Syria. A fourth man, Fazal Sajjad Younis Khan, 40, also from Small Heath, has been charged with possession of CS spray.

The three defendants will next appear in court at the Old Bailey on May 13.

According to the radio report Mrs Boufassi turned up with her face covered, and instead of demanding that she showed respect for the court by showing her face the District Judge merely asked the lawyers to confirm that they were satisfied that the woman under the tent was indeed Mrs Boufassi. She is a Belgian national. She would not have been allowed to wear that cover in public anywhere in Belgium where the full face veil is banned.  But she is permitted to show her contempt for the English court!