British man jailed for funding overthrow of Syrian government

|News, Terrorism

A man from Sheffield has today (11 January) been jailed for sending money to his brother in Syria who was fighting against the Syrian government with the hope of establishing an Islamic state.

Dental student Abdurahman Kaabar, 24, entered an arrangement to send an unspecified sum in late 2016 to his brother with the help of his friend Badroddin Kazkaz. His younger brother Mohammed Kaabar flew to Turkey in March 2016 and then travelled on to Syria where he joined terror group Jabhat al Fateh al Sham - previously known as al-Nusra - who were fighting against government forces. Kaabar admitted he know his brother was fighting with the group.

Kazkaz pleaded guilty to funding terrorism at a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court in July 2018 but Kaabar said he had provided the funds to enable his brother to obtain medical advice only and not for any terrorist purpose. He admitted sending money to his brother but denied knowing or suspecting it might be used to fund terrorism.

After a trial Kaabar was found guilty on 16 August 2018 of one count of entering info funding arrangements for the purposes of terrorism. He was also found guilty of a second count of funding terrorism by offering to send a further sum to his brother in July 2017 but the transfer did not take place.

Before his trial last year Kaabar pleaded guilty to several other counts of possessing and disseminating extremist material that could have been of use to anyone planning a terror attack. The material included advice on bomb making, kidnapping and use of poisons. The prosecution argued that plea showed Kaabar’s active support of the use of violence to achieve political and religious goals.

Today, Kaabar was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison and Kazkaz to four years. In addition Kaabar and Kazkaz were given notification orders of 15 and 10 years respectively. These require offenders to notify the authorities of any major changes such as new name or address after they are released from prison.

At the time of the conviction Deb Walsh from the CPS said: “The prosecution was able to show that Abdurahman Kaabar and Badroddin Kazkaz believed in establishing an Islamic state through the use of violence which they were prepared to fund.

“Kaabar also admitted to having and sharing a number of violent publications. He clearly holds an extremist worldview and was prepared to play an active role in terrorism. He must now face the consequences.”

Notes to editors

  • Abdurahman Kaabar (DOB: 14/09/1994) was tried and found guilty of two counts of entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism, contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • On 1 August 2018, Abdurahman Kaabar pleaded guilty to:
    • Three counts of possession of terrorist material useful to someone committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000
    • Twelve counts of disseminating a terrorist publication intending the effect to be direct/indirect encouragement to others to the commission or preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, contrary to section 2(1) of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • On 23 July 2018, Badroddin Kazkaz pleaded guilty to one count of entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism, contrary to section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • Deb Walsh is the Deputy Head of the Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division in the Crown Prosecution Service.

Further reading