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Two men jailed for giving money to Brussels bombings suspect

12/12/2016

Zakaria Boufassil, 26, and Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 27, were jailed today at Kingston Crown Court for preparation of acts of terrorism.

Ahmed withdrew over £3,000 - mostly taken from housing benefit payments - from a bank account set up by a third man who is now believed to be fighting for Daesh in Syria. Ahmed and Boufassil then gave the money to Mohammed Abrini, also known as the "man in the hat", a suspect linked to the Brussels terror attack in March 2016. Abrini had travelled to the UK to meet the men and collect the money. Ahmed assumed the money would reach the third man now believed to be fighting for Daesh.

Sue Hemming, Head of CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said:

"These men have been jailed today because they handed over money with the intention that it would support international terrorism.

"It is clear that you do not need to leave the country to be prosecuted for preparing terrorist acts or assisting others to do so. Offences can be committed in your bank, your place of work, even in your own home. If you prepare or help others to prepare acts of terrorism then you can be prosecuted and, as this and other recent cases have demonstrated, in all likelihood jailed."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Details of sentences:

    • Zakaria Boufassil was sentenced to eight years in prison, with a further year to be served on licence.

    • Mohammed Ali Ahmed was sentenced to three years in prison, with a further year to be served on licence.

  2. Boufassil was convicted by a jury on 6 December. Ahmed pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. 

  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926