Tower Hamlets twins jailed for three years after pleading guilty to funding terrorism abroad

Mohammed Shabir Ali and Mohammed Shafiq Al. Pic: Met Police

Twin brothers from Tower Hamlets have been jailed for three years today after they were found guilty of raising funds to finance terrorism abroad.

Mohammed Shabir Ali and Mohammed Shafiq Al, both 25, admitted the charges at the Old Bailey yesterday and were sentenced this morning.

The pair admitted to charges of sending £3,000 abroad between 2008 and 2011 to finance ‘terrorism training’ for their brother, Mohammed Shamim Ali, in Somalia.

They were recorded in a phone conversation with their brother, discussing plans to raise money from the public for a fictional Palestinian charity. Both were arrested in April.

On sentencing, Mr Justice Fulford said: “The courts must reflect the seriousness of offences of this kind in the sentences that are handed down, given that they were intended to support terrorism.”

Originally charged with assisting another to commit acts of terrorism or in preparation for acts of terrorism as well as possessing a document called ’44 Ways to Support Jihad’, more serious offences which carry a penalty of life in imprisonment.

On Tuesday the brothers opted to plead of guilty of the lesser charges of financing terrorism abroad and this was accepted by the Solicitor General Edward Garnier.

However, the original charges will lie on file.

The Judge said it was accepted by the court the brothers primary concern was financially assisting their brother but that: “The financial assistance took place at a time when both defendants suspected that their older brother was involved in terrorist training activities in Somalia.”

“It is clear that they knew that their brother needed financial assistance and why.”

Despite evidence that the men had read the document on supporting Jihad, which contained sections on how to raise money for terrorism abroad, the Judges said of the men: “They are not suggested to have held anything like the most extreme leanings or views. They nonetheless did have a degree of what I am going to describe as relevant ideological interest at the time of this offence.”

The length of the mens sentence reflected their previous good character, said the Judge.

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