From The Times and the Daily Mail
Alan Henning, one of the British hostages beheaded by Isis, travelled to Syria with an aid convoy used to smuggle funds to a jihadist, a court has been told.
Syed Hoque and two other men accused of smuggling cash to Syria travelled with Mr Henning, 47, a taxi driver turned aid worker whose decapitated body was shown in an Isis video.
Mr Hoque, 37, is one of four men being tried at the Old Bailey for allegedly sending thousands of pounds to his nephew in Syria to buy weapons and other equipment. Various aid convoys were used as cover to deliver the cash, the court has been told. The aid convoys were allegedly used as cover to send thousands of pounds in money and equipment to terrorists as part of a scheme to set up a team of ‘night snipers’ in Syria.
Pervez Rafiq, 46, one of the defendants, had told police that he had been on a convoy arranged by a charity called al-Fatiha Global, with Mr Henning in December 2013, and had taken part in an appeal for his safe return.
Syed Hoque, 37, from Luton, Bedfordshire, allegedly sent £4,500 to Syria so that his nephew Mohammed Choudhury, could buy a sniper rifle and offered to fund a number of others. Choudhury went to Syria in 2013 and fought for Jabhat al-Nusra, the terrorist wing of Al Qaeda in Syria, the court heard. He has never returned.
Hoque was allegedly helped by a ‘quartermaster’ called Mashoud Miah. The court had earlier been told that Mr Hoque and Mashoud Miah, 27, had been in an earlier convoy organised by a charity called Children in Deen, and were carrying substantial amounts of cash when they left the country.
n WhatsApp messages read out to the jury Mr Hoque told his nephew, Mohammed Choudhury, 26, that beheading unbelievers was permissible under Islamic law.
“I would lyk 2 cut der heads, wrap der heads on a car, and drag it along . . . Ameen . . . It boils my blood wen I c det faces . . . Dey r pigs!”, his nephew, from Mile End, east London, wrote.
His uncle replied: “You need to obviously fight and kill for the sake of Allah and pray not to cross the bounds Allah has set . . . No mutilating, just beheading. . . And hate them for Allah’s sake.”
He and his nephew discussed buying a Dragunov sniper rifle, an AK assault rifle and a nightscope. Choudhury had boasted to his uncle that he was getting married to a ‘very young’ 16-year-old bride. But Choudhury he later changed his mind after arriving in Syria and said he was too busy fighting to get married and wanted to be a martyr.
Annabel Darlow, QC, for the prosecution, said that the pair were preaching messages of hate.
Syed Hoque faces three counts of funding terrorism after allegedly providing £3,000 and £1,500 on December 21 2013.
Along with the three other defendants, he also faces a charge that they made material available with a reasonable cause to suspect it was for terrorism between December 1 2012 and May 31 2014.
Syed Hoque, 37, from Luton; Mashoud Miah, 27, from Mile End; Mohammed Hussain, 30, also from Mile End; and Pervez Rafiq, 46, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, all deny the charges and the trial continues.