A man from West London has been jailed for sending thousands of pounds to fund terrorist activity in Syria.
Tarek Namouz, 43, exchanged messages with an ISIS supporter in Syria in which they talked about purchasing weapons and explosives to use against Syrian government forces.
Namouz was arrested in May 2021 in a pre-planned operation by counter terrorism officers. He sent in excess of £11,280 to his contact in Syria over a number of months.
Following Namouz’s conviction for ten terrorism offences last month after a trial, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and one year on licence at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday, 5 January.
The court heard that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Namouz had received grants from the government to assist his business.
In passing sentence, HHJ Lodder KC said: “In 2020 and 2021, you ran a barbers shop in Hammersmith. You were entitled to Covid bounce-back loans which were paid to you by the local council. You sent that money, and other money, through a west London transfer and currency exchange, to terrorists in Syria.”
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:“Terrorist groups rely on funding to carry out their activities and to continue to operate. People like Namouz who provide money to terrorist groups – both in the UK and overseas – are enabling others to go and commit serious and deadly attacks, and we will always pursue and investigate those people and seek to bring them to justice.”
When officers visited Namouz’s flat to arrest him on May 25, 2021, he told officers he didn’t have a phone. But during the search, detectives found one hidden in a recess under a drawer.
It was on this phone that officers found Daesh propaganda material consisting of thousands of messages, and documents which he had downloaded from Telegram. This also included two videos – one which gave instructions on how to create an improvised explosive device, and another detailing how to carry out knife attacks.
Namouz was found guilty of eight counts of funding terrorism and two counts of possessing information likely to be useful for terrorism at Kingston Crown Court on December 8, 2022.