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Belfast-born teacher 'tried to take kids to see Isis terrorist husband'

By Emily Pennink

Published 04/02/2016

Muslim convert Lorna Moore denies terror charges
Muslim convert Lorna Moore denies terror charges

A Muslim convert from Northern Ireland planned to take her three young children to Syria to be reunited with their jihadi father, a court has heard.

Trainee maths teacher Lorna Moore (33) allegedly failed to tell authorities her supply teacher husband Sajid Aslam was poised to join Islamic State fighters.

Jurors at the Old Bailey heard the Belfast woman's husband was one of a group of friends who had left Walsall in the West Midlands to join the terrorist organisation between July and December 2014.

At the time he left, Moore took the rest of the family on a Butlins holiday in Skegness, but talked to her husband via Skype after he left, the court heard.

On arrival in Syria, Aslam sent a "triumphant" coded message to friend Ayman Shaukat (27), in the form of a YouTube video of a song called I Made It by pop band Cash Money Heroes, the court heard.

Within months, Moore had booked flights to Palma, Majorca, but her final destination was given away in a text from another couple who had embarked for the war-ridden state, saying "see you there", jurors were told.

Meanwhile, Moore had set about renting out her house, selling televisions and a car, applying for passports and visiting family in her native Belfast, the court heard. Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC told jurors: "The plan was for Ms Moore to take the children via an innocuous destination to be reunited with their father."

But it was scuppered when other members of their group, Alex Nash and his wife Yousma Jan, were arrested by Turkish police and police swooped on Moore's home in Walsall, the court heard. Muslim convert Jacob Petty (25), also known as Abu Yaqood Britany, was the first of the group to travel to Syria in July 2014. He was killed before the year was out.

He was swiftly joined by his old school friend Isaiah Siadatan, leaving behind his wife and two children. It is unknown whether he is still alive.

Moore's husband Aslam (34) was helped on his way by Shaukat, who took him to the airport on August 23, the court heard. On August 30, Aslam sent a link to the YouTube pop video, a clear message that he had made it across the border to Syria, to which Shaukat replied "good stuff", the court was told. In October, Aslam confided in him that it can be "tough at times in my new job but it's all in a good cause".

On November 4, another Muslim convert, Nash (22) and his wife had allegedly set off for Syria but were sent back to the UK by Turkish authorities.

They sent a text to Moore saying "See you there. May the peace of Allah be upon you xxx".

The prosecutor said that Moore was aware of the true significance of the couple's departure and when she booked flights to Palma for November 15, she intended to join them.

He told jurors: "The prosecution suggest this was a group of friends all intent on going out to Syria to fight for Isis, and providing each other with help and support."

Moore, of Glebe Street, Walsall, denies failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism on or before August 24, 2014, that might be of assistance in securing the apprehension of Aslam.

Shaukat, of Pargeter Street, Walsall, denies two counts of preparing for terrorist acts in relation to helping Aslam and Nash as well as possession of information contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000 in relation to a copy of "39 Ways To Serve And Participate In Jihad" on a laptop external hard drive.

Nash has admitted he was planning to go to Syria and pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism, while Siadatan's wife Kerry Thomason has admitted assisting her husband in preparation of acts of terrorism.

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