Terrorism spotlight falls on Islington as brothers become Al-Qaeda poster boys
PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 January 2014
The terrorism spotlight fell on Holloway this week as three people in their 20s were linked to al-Qaeda in Syria.
Propaganda images were released on social media of brothers Akram, 24, and Mohamed Sebah, 28, who grew up in Cornwallis Square, and are believed to have died in battle in the war-torn country in September.
The two were pictured together smiling and brandishing guns in camouflage gear and were hailed “martyrs” and “young British lions” in messages sent out to encourage other recruits to follow in their footsteps.
Neighbours believed they had died in a car accident in America.
The news followed the court appearance of Naval Masaad, 26, of Centurian Close, who is alleged to have tried to smuggle £16,500 in her knickers to terrorists, also in Syria.
She and her suspected accomplice Amal El-Wahabi, 27, of Rucklidge Avenue, Willesden, are thought to be the first British women to be charged with terror offences over the conflict.
The Sebah family has declined to comment.
Some reports claimed that the brothers had attended the Masjid-e-Yusuf mosque in Hornsey Road, close to their home, but the mosque declined to comment.
Those who worship there said the claims were false. “It’s not true, they never came here,” said a man in his 20s who did not wish to be named. “Terrorism is totally against Islam. The Koran teaches us to avoid conflict and walk away if faced with confrontation.
‘‘This is a peaceful mosque that does a lot of work with the community.”
Akram and Mohamed studied A-levels at City and Islington Sixth Form College and Akram was an estate agent who recently worked at recruitment company Cherry Pick People.
Miss Masaad is in police custody following a preliminary hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court and is set to go before the Old Bailey tomorrow (Friday).
The student was arrested at Heathrow Airport while trying to board a plane to Istanbul, Turkey, and was alledgedly found to have cash wrapped in cling film in her underwear.
She and Miss El-Wahabi are charged with becoming concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money was made available or was to be made available to another, and knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism.