Would-be jihadist took out £10,000 bank loan for Islamic State travel plans

A would-be jihadist funded his travel plans to join extremists in Syria by taking out a £10,000 loan from Barclays Bank, a court has heard.

Aweys Shikhey told the bank the money was needed for his wedding, but instead intended to travel to join the Islamic State group.

The 38-year-old delivery driver who denies preparing terrorist acts had already discussed killing The Queen and David Cameron with a fellow extremist.
He also spoke of attacking Jews in Stamford Hill and football fans with an AK47 as they left Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium White Hart Lane, the Old Bailey heard on Tuesday.

Shikhey, a Dutch national who is originally from Somalia but who has a wife in Kenya and a wife in the Netherlands as well as children with both, was arrested on May 23 last year at Stansted Airport.

He appeared to be a quiet, hard-working, religious man, who lived in Tottenham, north London, and worked for the delivery firm DPD, the court heard.

But Barnaby Jameson, prosecuting, said there was “an extremist agenda going on behind the scenes”.

“The face the defendant presented to the world was different to his real face. That is, a terrorist hiding in plain sight.

“The defendant, you will hear, was a secret and indeed eager supporter of Islamic State.

“So eager, he was willing to leave his life, his job, his relatives behind to join Islamic State as a front-line combatant.”

Shikhey’s true motivation was allegedly revealed in encrypted chat messages on Threema and Telegram with a fellow Somalian living in Kenya.

The exchanges were revealed on Abdirahman Idris Hassan’s computer after he was arrested for alleged terrorism offences in September 2016.

Reading one message, Mr Jameson said: “Hassan says to the defendant, ‘May God bestow you in killing David Cameron and the old woman Elizabeth’.

“That’s a reference to the then Prime Minister, and what is believed to be a reference to the Queen, Queen Elizabeth.

“At the end of the conversation, the defendant says, ‘amen brother’.

“That exchange perhaps gives you some insight into the mindset of those two individuals.

“They are talking across the encrypted messages on Threema about killing the then Prime Pinister and the Queen.”

Hassan went on to ask if the defendant could buy bullets and a gun in the UK and Shikhey said three or five people were needed to “carry out a bloody attack”.

He said it would be best to find AK47s and other automatic weapons, adding: “They could have been taken to Stamford Hill and when people leave from their game.”

Despite earning a “respectable wage”, Shikhey allegedly started looking at how to raise “considerable amounts” of money.

He made a series of unsuccessful loan applications before securing £10,000 from Barclays “ostensibly for a wedding”.

Shikhey had been in contact with a woman in Norway, Raaqiya Hussain, who was an “avid supporter” of Islamic State, the court heard.

Mr Jameson said she was “anxious” to migrate from the West to Islamic State territory, and marry a fighter, whether Shikhey or “another jihadist”.

In March 2017, Shikhey sent her $8,400, and the next month transferred $3,000 and $600, jurors were told.

He was arrested while due to fly to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, via Istanbul the next day, having bought a one-way ticket.

Shikhey, of no fixed address, denies engaging in conduct in preparation to commit terrorist acts.