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Radicalised student given seven years for helping friend travel to Syria

Published 26/08/2016

Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Farah is facing jail for helping a friend go to Syria (Greater Manchester Police/PA)
Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Farah is facing jail for helping a friend go to Syria (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

A radicalised student has been sentenced to seven years behind bars for helping a friend go to Syria while studying for his A-levels.

From his mother's home in Manchester, Abdullahi Ahmed Jama Farah, now 20, created a "hub of communication" for his "Mandem" group of like-minded extremists in 2013.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, the defendant was found guilty of preparing for terrorist acts by attempting to facilitate Nur Hassan, 19, from Manchester, to travel to Syria to fight.

Judge Michael Topolski sentenced him to seven years' detention and a further three years on extended licence.

The judge told him that the extent of his radicalisation was "considerable", saying: "Your support for jihad was global and offensive in nature and not defensive and limited to Syria."

He went on: "Your conduct demonstrated a significant degree of sophistication as well as determination and commitment.

"I am satisfied that what motivated you to assist was the very same set of extremist beliefs that motivated your friends to travel and train and fight and, if necessary, to die."

He highlighted messages in which the defendant referred to beheadings as "lick some heads off" and asking his friends if they were "smacking (killing) guys".

In assessing Jama Farah's dangerousness, the judge added: "I bear in mind that as relatively recently as 2015, with the full extent of the grotesque barbarity of Isis clear for all to see, you were continuing to support them and doing so openly and publicly."

Jama Farah is the cousin of the so-called "teenager terror twins", Zhara and Salma Halane, who at the age of 16 left their home in Chorlton in Manchester in June 2014 and are believed to have married IS fighters.

Prosecutor Gareth Patterson had told jurors it was clear that Jama Farah supported IS from what was found on his computers as well as messages on WhatsApp and social media.

Mr Patterson said he performed an "important role as the hub of communication" in the UK.

Jama Farah, who is Danish and of Somali origin, was in communication with four other friends abroad, two of whom are believed to have been killed and another badly injured in fighting.

His cousin Ahmed Ibrahim Halane, known as Pie, from Manchester, went to Somalia in September 2013, where he is thought to have joined the terrorist group al-Shabab.

Halane, brother of the "terror twins", is currently in Copenhagen, banned from returning to the UK.

Close friends Raphael Hostey, Mohammed Javeed and Khalil Raoufi headed from north-west England to Syria on October 6 2013 to join IS, the court heard.

Raoufi and Hostey went on to encourage others from England and around the world to swell their ranks in postings on Twitter.

Raoufi, also known as Abu Layth, was killed in combat in February 2014 and Hostey, or Al Qaqa, was shot in the foot.

Javeed, nicknamed Prinny, ended up in Iraq where, it emerged during the trial, he blew himself up in a suicide attack.

During his evidence, the defendant confirmed that when he twice discussed with his friends "doing a Prinny", that was what they were referring to.

After Jama Farah was arrested on March 11 2014, he told police he knew them all through his cousin Halane, who was "emir", or leader, of their group of close friends.

Jama Farah, of South Grove, Longsight, Manchester, denied wrongdoing. He was cast by his defence as an over-excited teenager sitting in his bedroom at home on his computer in contact with his friends and passing on phone numbers, concerned for their welfare.

Following a trial in February, the jury convicted him of facilitating Hassan's travel to Syria and for his communication with Raoufi.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "Jama was very much a key part of the communication between this group of friends who had gone abroad with the intention of committing acts of terrorism.

"By regularly providing them with new contact details and updates on each other he supported their efforts to evade authorities and continue their extremist lifestyles.

"Although he may not have been there committing these acts himself, his actions helped facilitate what they were doing and I hope today's sentencing will send a message to all those who are even considering offering a helping hand to terrorists."

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