UK woman jailed for sending cash to jihadist husband in Syria

LONDON (TIP): A British woman who tried to send 20,000 euros ($25,000) to her husband fighting with Islamic State (IS) group in Syria was on November 13 jailed for 28 months and seven days. Amal El-Wahabi, 28, became the first person in Britain to be convicted of funding the jihadists following a trial in August, which heard how she persuaded a friend to smuggle the cash in her underwear. The friend, Nawal Msaad, was found not guilty. She had been stopped in January at London’s Heathrow Airport, where she was trying to board a flight to Istanbul, with the bank notes concealed in a condom.

Sentencing El-Wahabi at England’s Old Bailey central criminal court in London, judge Nicholas Hilliard said her drug dealer husband Aine Davis had clearly gone to Syria to fight with IS. “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,” he said. He said Davis had posted a profile picture on his WhatsApp social media account showing him brandishing an automatic weapon, and also sent El-Wahabi other similar photos.

The judge accepted that the jihadist had the idea to transfer the cash and El-Wahabi had agreed because she was “infatuated” with her husband, with whom she has two children under five. But he rejected calls to give her a suspended sentence. “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,” the judge said. “He had no true regard for you. Any interest he had in you was only engaged when there was some advantage to him.”

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