Two charged in Somalia terror probe
Scotland Yard believes it has smashed a gang allegedly trying to fund terrorism in Somalia.
Mohammed Shafiq Ali, who works for a security firm used by Transport for London, and his unemployed twin brother Mohammed Shabir Ali appeared in court on Wednesday charged with terrorism offences.
Prosecutors say the 24-year-olds plotted to raise funds through a "Darwar" religious stall in the UK and assist their older brother to commit acts of terrorism in Somalia with the cash.
They also allegedly possessed a document called 44 Ways To Support Jihad. The text was written by American-born Anwar al Awlaki, who was killed last year in a drone strike after leading al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The twins attended separate hearings at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, where both were remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on April 20.
Shabir Ali, of Bohn Road in Tower Hamlets, east London, appeared in the dock first, dressed in a white jacket, grey T-shirt and grey tracksuit bottoms. The father of three children, all aged under five, spoke only to confirm his name and address but appeared to acknowledge a young man who saluted him from the public gallery, where his wife was also watching proceedings.
Prosecutor Louise Gray said Shabir Ali's older brother, Mohammed Shamim, was believed to be in Somalia and Shabir Ali took "proactive steps to support his brother by thinking of how to raise money through 'Darwar' stalls and wanting to learn how to send money out there".
His twin, who lives at the same address and has been employed by Carlisle Security for five years, appeared later, dressed in a white T-shirt and black trousers. His 19-year-old pregnant wife also watched proceedings from the public gallery.
Ms Gray said Shafiq Ali had shown "moral support" to his older brother.
The twins' alleged offences, which carry a sentence of up to life imprisonment, are said to have taken place between August 20 2008 and June 21 last year. A Scotland Yard spokesman said a 30-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman remained in police custody.