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North west London mother on terrorism charges is ‘phone-addicted, weed-smoking kafir’

PUBLISHED: 19:26 04 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:00 05 August 2014

Amal El-Wahabi (Pic credit: Central News)

Amal El-Wahabi (Pic credit: Central News)

Archant

A mother accused of arranging to send 20,000 euro (£16,000) to her husband fighting in Syria concealed in her friend’s underwear is “foul-mouthed” and a “and an unlikely terrorist,” her barrister has told a court.

Amal El-Wahabi, 27, from north west London, allegedly asked her friend Nawal Msaad, also 27, to be a trusted courier and take the cash to Turkey at the request of Aine Davis, known by his Muslim name Hamza.

But Msaad was stopped by police at Heathrow in January before she boarded a flight. She handed over the rolled up notes hidden in her knickers, the Old Bailey heard.

Delivering his closing speech today, El-Wahabi’s barrister Mark Summers described his client to jurors.

“A more unlikely terrorist you may never have seen in this court,” he said.

“Just picture this - Amal, that foul-mouthed, red haired, talkaholic, opinionated, phone-addicted, weed-smoking kafir playing the dutiful Burka-clad (woman) cooking around the camp fire in Syria.

“If a jury in this court in its 200 years has been invited to swallow a more preposterous proposition, I personally would have paid good money to see it.”

El-Wahabi put her hand over her mouth as she laughed at his comments from the dock.

Mr Summers went on: “Added to these unsuitable jihadist personality traits is selfishness. Everything that Amal says and does is about her. She wouldn’t even attend a charity event if she couldn’t get in free.”

He also said that Hamza, 30, who the court previously heard was a drug dealer who was regularly in trouble with police, was involved in “drugs, drugs and more drugs”.

Mr Summers told the jury of five men and seven women it would need to answer two questions as it deliberated its verdicts, the first being whether Hamza is a terrorist.

“If you’re not sure that he’s a terrorist, then it follows that you can’t be sure that the money was for terrorism,” he said.

“Two: even if you answer question one in the affirmative you also have to be sure that Amal knew he was a terrorist. If she did not then it follows that she could not have believed that the money was for terrorism.

“Even if Davis was a terrorist and Amal knew it, it still does not inevitably follow that terrorism was the target for the money.”

Mr Summers said El-Wahabi “clearly was intending” to take her two young children to live in Turkey and that was what the money was to go towards.

“That’s what she was telling people at the time,” he said.

“She hasn’t made it up - it’s there in her messages.”

Ms Msaad’s defence barrister Naeem Mian told the court that if she had been sympathetic to the jihadist cause then it would have been unlikely she would have wanted to be paid for transferring the money.

“If you’re a believer, if Ms Msaad were a believer that would simply not be necessary,” he said.

Mr Mian also said it was hard to believe El-Wahabi would have been able to persuade her to carry the money for the terrorist cause in such a limited amount of time.

He told jurors that from looking at the phone records of their various conversations he had worked out: “By my calculations, 12 minutes and 16 seconds in total, during which Ms Msaad is alleged to have been recruited to the jihadist cause.”

He went on: “It is in the truest sense of the word, wholly incredible, because thereafter, members of the jury, we see Ms Msaad starts searching for flights to Istanbul.”

Mr Mian said that the fact that his client told her friends and family she was travelling to Turkey for a short break also disproved the prosecution’s case that she thought the money was going to fund terrorism.

He added: “There isn’t a shred - not a shred - of forensic evidence to suggest that Ms Msaad had that money secreted internally.”

He told jurors that she had said: “I was embarrassed about the fact that I had it in a condom and so to avoid any more embarrassment I tried to insert it.”

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow when the judge will begin summing up the case.


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