- Scotland Yard counter-terror chief Terri Nicholson reveals 'shocking' fraud
- Jihadists fighting for ISIS are fraudulently claiming taxpayers’ money
- A 'number of cases' discovered of terrorists making student loan claims
- Comes after two brothers became first Britons jailed for fighting in Syria
Jihadi fighters in the Middle East are claiming benefits in the UK to fund terror, police chiefs have revealed.
Scotland Yard counter-terror officer Terri Nicholson revealed terrorists fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria were fraudulently claiming taxpayers’ money to fund attacks abroad.
She revealed there had been ‘a number of cases’ of terrorists making student loan claims to fund their activities.
Mohommod Hassin Nawaz, 31, and Hamza Nawaz, 23, have been jailed for conspiracy to attend a place used for terrorist training after returning from Syria
The revelation sparked fury among MPs today. Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said the prospect of benefits being used to fund overseas terror was ‘shocking’.
Mr Vaz said: ‘It is shocking that this is happening. We need to see assurances from government that the integrity of the student loan and benefits system has not been compromised, with the full cooperation of the banking network.’
It comes as two brothers from east London became the first Britons to be jailed for fighting in Syria, having gone to a training camp in the country.
Another jihadist, who skipped bail to fight in Syria, used Twitter to mock the lapse in security that allowed him to flee.
Miss Nicholson, a Met Assistant Commander, told the Telegraph that terrorists were using ‘innovative’ techniques to rip off the taxpayer.
She said: ‘We are seeing a diverse fraud, including substantial fraud online, abuse of the benefits system, abuse of student loans, in order to fund terrorism.’
Philip Davies, the Tory MP, added: ‘I know the Government has been cracking down on benefit fraud. It seems to me that this shows that if anything, they need to go further.’
He added: ‘It is sickening to think that [UK money is funding terror plots] but whenever there is any money being doled out, it’s obvious that terrorists will be trying to get their hands on as much of it as possible.’
Labour chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz said the revelation that benefits were being used to fund terror were 'shocking'
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: ‘No one should doubt our commitment to rooting out benefit fraud.’
Miss Nicholson also revealed that women were being used to smuggle thousands of pounds in cash out of Britain to fund terrorists abroad.
Earlier this month, Amal El Wahabi, a British mother-of-two, was jailed for more than two years for trying to arrange to smuggle £16,000 to her jihadist husband fighting in Syria.
She misled her friend, Nawal Msaad, into carrying the cash in her underwear.