A London-based British Muslim couple has been jailed for over four years for funding their nephew who was fighting in Syria for the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
Mohammed and Nazimabee Golamaully, originally from Mauritius, had pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey court to transferring 219 pounds to Zafirr Golamaully, who had travelled from his home in Mauritius to join ISIS.
Om Tuesday, Indian-origin Judge Anuja Dhir at the Old Bailey jailed Mohammed for two years and three months and Nazimabee for 22 months.
She said Mohammed Golamaully, employed as a hospital executive, was a “dedicated extremist” at the time, and his wife had acted under his instructions.
“It’s a worrying feature of this case that an intelligent and well respected family man who was regarded as a good neighbour, compassionate work colleague, and loving parent could behave in this way and hold the views you undoubtedly have,” she told him.
Nazimabee, a “law-abiding” former IT consultant who was born in London, made the payment.
Prosecutors had told the court that before leaving Mauritius, Zafirr had spoken to his uncle on a messaging app asking for help to deceive his parents.
He agreed not to tell Zafirr’s parents and their money transfer was only discovered during a police investigation into a worldwide network of terrorism funding.
In March 2014 Zafirr said: “Told them (parents) I’m going to get ‘nursing’ training and that I won’t be available for next two weeks”.
Mohammed Golamaully, 48, replied: “The story of two weeks training sounds plausible prior to undertaking humanitarian aid”.
Soon afterwards Zafirr was in Syria, fighting with ISIS, and attracting attention under the online alias Abu Hud, using social media to offer detailed instructions to others who wanted to travel to Syria.
He told his uncle: “They taught us military stances, formations and weapons.”
The pair then discussed how to transfer money.
In another exchange, Zafirr said he might be going into battle soon in eastern Syria. His uncle reassured him that he would not say a word to his parents.
At the same time Mohammed Golamaully was having secret chats with Zafirr’s sister Lubnaa, telling his niece “to revolutionise the Islamic concept amongst our close relatives”.
He told her that a speech by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was a “beautiful speech and very well worded”.