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Nursery teacher jailed for tricking Holloway student into smuggling money to ISIS

PUBLISHED: 17:07 13 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:46 14 November 2014

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Amal El-Wahabi, who has been jailed for more than two years after becoming the first person to be convicted of funding terrorism in Syria.

Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Amal El-Wahabi, who has been jailed for more than two years after becoming the first person to be convicted of funding terrorism in Syria.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A nursery teacher who tricked a Holloway student into tying to smuggle 20,000 euro (£16.500) to ISIS members in Syria has been jailed for 28 months.

Nawal Msaad, who was cleared of trying to smuggle money to Syria. Photo: John StillwellNawal Msaad, who was cleared of trying to smuggle money to Syria. Photo: John Stillwell

Nawal Msaad, 27, of Centurian Walk, wrapped the roll of notes – worth £15,830 – in a condom for safe keeping and tucked it inside her leggings as she headed for Heathrow Airport in January.

But she was stopped by anti-terrorism officers at the departure gate as she was about to board a plane to Istanbul.

Miss Msaad, was accused of plotting to take the money to convicted drug dealer and suspected ISIS member Aine Davis, her friend and co-defendant Amal El-Wahabi’s husband, but was cleared of all charges after a month long trial at the Old Bailey which ended in August.

El-Wahabi, a 28-year-old mother-of-two, was found guilty at the end of the trial and was today sentenced to 28 months and seven days imprisonment for tricking her former school friend into acting as a mule.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said El-Wahabi’s sentence would have been far greater were it not for her two children.

“I am sure that Aine Davis was indeed engaged in terrorism in Syria after he left this country in July 2013 and made his way there,” he said.

“I am sure he was engaged in violent jihad with guns under the black flag of ISIS so as to advance their religious and ideological views.

“I am also satisfied that you knew he was engaged in violence with guns for extremist, religious and ideological reasons and you knew that the money you sent was destined for that purpose.

“You have two children, one aged five and the other aged 17 months, to whom you are devoted.

“I understand what it means for you and your children to be separated just as I understand the consequences of terrorism when that is put into effect.

“Your children are indirect victims of what Aine Davis was engaged in.

“They are entirely blameless but now suffer because for a time they are without either parent.”

He also took into account that ISIS had not displayed their recent barbaric executions when the attempted smuggling took place in January, but said that it was this sort of funding which was allowing the terrorist organisation to do its bidding.

Speaking at the trial in August, Miss Msaad described how she felt betrayed by her friend El-Wahabi – who had told her the money was to help Davis buy a house.

“I don’t really like to judge people, but I don’t have the full faith and trust in her [El-Wahabi] that I used to,” Miss Msaad told the jury.

“During the course of this trial she has revealed that the money was drug money and she should have given me the opportunity to decide for myself whether I would be OK taking money abroad that was the proceeds of crime,” she added.


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