UK & World News
Woman 'Hid Cash In Knickers For Jihadists'
A 27-year-old British woman is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of attempting to smuggle ?20,000 (£15,800) in her underwear to fund jihadists fighting in Syria.
Nawal Msaad was taking the money to Turkey on behalf of her close friend Amal El-Wahibi, also 27, whose Muslim-convert husband Aine Davis left London last July to pursue the jihadist cause, the court heard.
Msaad was stopped by police as she approached the departure gate at Heathrow Airport on January 16 this year.
She told officers the three-day trip to Istanbul was a "short break" to buy gold for her mother.
Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said: "She was then taken to a private room where she pulled out a roll of banknotes from inside her underwear and handed it across to the officers. The banknotes were tightly rolled and were wrapped in cling film.
"It would appear that it would have been further hidden inside her body, wrapped in a condom."
Both Msaad, of Holloway, north London, and El-Wahabi, of northwest London, are on trial accused of funding terrorism. They deny the charge.
Jurors were told the arrangements were made in the days before the planned flight in phone calls and WhatsApp messages between the pair and 30-year-old Davis, who was also born in London and has two young sons with El-Wahabi.
Mr Dennis said: "It is alleged in this case that the money that the second defendant was attempting to take out to Turkey was money that had been raised in this country and had been destined to support the jihadist cause which Davis was now pursuing with like-minded supporters.
"The allegation in this case is that each defendant, when becoming concerned in the arrangement of the smuggling of this money to Turkey at the behest of Davis, knew of, at the very least had reasonable cause to suspect, that the money was or might be used for the purposes of terrorism."
After her arrest, Msaad refused to explain the money and gave "no comment" police interviews, while El-Wahabi said an iPod, Kindle and iPad found at her address belonged to Davis, who was now living in Turkey.
She denied knowledge of any terrorist activities or their funding.
But her mobile phone showed Davis had sent her photos including a "selfie" while he had been away, as well as videos containing jihadist propaganda, including one of a "boy martyr" aged between 10 and 13 holding a Kalashnikov rifle, jurors heard.
The trial continues.