Barber shop owner jailed for using Covid grants to fund terroristson January 5, 2023 at 3:17 pm

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Tarek Namouz sent money he received from a London council to help organise attacks in Syria.

Custody image of Tarek Namouz, 43, pictured with his eyes closed.Image source, Met Police

A man has been jailed for 12 years for sending Covid relief grants he received from a London council to fund so-called Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

Barber shop owner Tarek Namouz, 43, was given thousands of pounds of bounce back loans which he transferred abroad.

Kingston Crown Court heard at the time of the offences Namouz was on licence for raping a woman, 18, in a north London pub where he was the landlord.

After he was sentenced, Namouz shouted “may Allah destroy you” at police.

The court was told Namouz ran Boss Crew Barbers, in Hammersmith, west London, and received coronavirus relief grants from Hammersmith and Fulham Council during the pandemic.

However, he sent the funds via a money transfer bureau to help organise terror attacks in Syria.

File photo of a Met police officer stood outside the entrance to Kingston Crown Court

Image source, PA Media

The court heard that during the investigation police found transfers totalling about £11,280 – but Namouz then told a friend he sent £25,000 to Yahya Ahmed Alia, who he described as an “ex-fighter with Islamic State” who could buy sniper rifles.

Another £3,000 was found in his bedroom drawer in the flat above his barber shop in Blyth Road.

On 25 May 2021 he was arrested and recalled to prison to serve the rest of a 10-year sentence for raping an 18-year-old woman in The Prince pub, where he was the landlord, in 2014.

Namouz denied knowing the money would be used for terrorism, telling police he sent the funds to “help… the poor and needy in Syria”.

But following a trial last month, he was found guilty of eight counts of entering into a funding arrangement for terrorism between November 2020 and May 2021.

He was also convicted of two counts of possessing terrorist information after videos were found on his phone detailing how to make an improvised explosive device with ball bearings, and using knives to carry out a lone wolf attack.

‘Commitment to terrorism’

During sentencing, Judge Peter Lodder KC told Namouz he was “entitled to Covid bounce back loans”, but “you sent that money, and other money, through a west London transfer and currency exchange, to terrorists in Syria”.

However, Namouz interrupted the judge from the dock, claiming “I never sent that money”.

Judge Lodder KC jailed the 43-year-old for 12 years with a further year on extended licence, saying he had demonstrated a “commitment to terrorism” and planned to “re-establish a state run in accordance with extreme Islamic principles”.

Namouz replied “thank you, your honour” after he was sentenced, but before he was taken down to the cells he turned to police officers sitting in court and said: “May Allah destroy you.

“We will meet on judgment day. You’re a kafir (non-believer) and you will end up in hell.”

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