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Brothers face jail over raising cash for Syria fighter

Published 05/08/2016

Musadikur Rohaman is a terrorist fighter in Raqqa (West Midlands Police/PA)
Musadikur Rohaman is a terrorist fighter in Raqqa (West Midlands Police/PA)

Two dry cleaners who sold their brother's BMW, watch and wedding outfit to raise cash for him while he was fighting for Islamic State in Syria are facing jail.

Mohammed Hussain, 26, and Mohamed Rohaman, 32, collected a total of £10,000 for Musadikur Rohaman, a terrorist fighter in Raqqa.

Musadikur and his wife Zohura Siddeka, both 27, left for Syria in December 2014.

His two brothers sold his £4,000 BMW car, his wife's wedding dress and £1,200 worth of family gold to raise funds for him.

Their distraught mother was forced to lock up valuables in the family home to try to stop them.

They also arranged for Siddeka's maternity pay from her job as a teacher to be sent out to Syria. She gave birth in September 2014 but the baby died days later.

The two brothers were convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey in London of terrorism funding offences between November 2014 and June 2015.

Nigel Lambert QC, representing Hussain, said: "This is a family tragedy - their brother remains in Syria. This was a matter of misguided loyalty."

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said: "At the heart of this case is a Muslim family from Walsall, in the West Midlands.

"The first defendant, Mohammed Hussain, is the youngest of eight siblings.

"He is responsible for running the family business, a laundrette and dry cleaners in Walsall.

"The second defendant, Mohamed Rohaman is one of his brothers. Between them in age is another brother, Musadikur Rohaman."

He added: "Musadikur had told people that he was going on holiday, but the true purpose for his trip was to go to Syria to join and fight for IS, and that is what he did."

Hussain, a qualified lawyer and aspiring solicitor, was found guilty of receiving money for the purposes of terrorism and entering into a funding arrangement.

He also recruited family friend and accountant Mohammed Khan, 27, to help raise funds by taking out credit card loans and selling valuables.

Khan was convicted of entering into a funding arrangement.

Rohaman was convicted of providing money for the purposes of terrorism.

The three defendants, all from Walsall, denied the charges and claimed the money was to help Musadikur to come back to the UK.

They will be sentenced on September 9.

A fourth man Maruf Uddin, 26, also from Walsall, was cleared of entering into a funding arrangement.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, lead counter-terrorism for West Midlands Police, said officers carried out property searches after Musadikur and Siddeka went missing.

Both his brothers knew he was fighting in Syria, he added.

Mr Beale continued: "It is believed Musadikur directed his brothers in what he needed doing and sent them names of who to transfer money to."

He added: "Disruption of terrorist funding is an important part of our investigations. Sending money to those actively engaged in terrorism helps fund their activities and we will continue to act on any intelligence and disrupt the flow of money to conflict zones."

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