British chemist 'groomed' Western woman into radical Islam
Dr Faisal Mostafa, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, has all-night conversations with 23-year-old American woman persuading her to live in a 'Muslim land'
Dr Faisal Mostafa has been exposed as an online 'groomer'Photo: Newsteam
A British man who has been linked with a series of terrorism-related offences played a key role in converting a young Western woman to Islam and tried to persuade her to travel abroad, it has emerged.
Dr Faisal Mostafa, a chemist from Stockport, Manchester, has been exposed as an online “groomer” who sent strict Muslim texts to a 23-year-old American woman to convert her from Christianity and lure her to a “Muslim land”.
In 1996 he was acquitted of planning to cause explosions with other Manchester University students, but found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm and jailed for four years.
In 2000 he was charged with Moinul Abedin, a fellow Bangladeshi, of planning to cause explosions.
Police in Birmingham recovered a large cache of chemicals and detonators but Mostafa was cleared when it was accepted he was planning to open a fireworks shop. His co-defendant was jailed for 20 years.
In 2010 the Foreign Office helped secure his repatriation from Bangladesh following his arrest at an Islamic school, or madrassa, run by his UK-registered charity Green Crescent which the authorities claimed was a terror training camp.
The New York Times newspaper reported how Mostafa, a married father of three, would stay online through the night talking to Sunday school teacher Alex about Islam.
In techniques which mirrored Isil recruitment manuals, he wrote: “If you need money I can get some. Don’t be shy, just keep it quiet.”
He acted as a witness for Alex’s conversion to Islam at the end of December last year and within weeks gift packages, sent by Royal Mail, began arriving at Alex’s home.
They included a strict Muslim text, The Rights and Duties of Women in Islam;a hijab; and Lindt chocolate – the brand signifying the siege of the Lindt café in Sydney, Australia, in December last year in which two people died.
He dissuaded her from attending a mosque near her home, claiming it had been infiltrated by the US Government.
Mostafa emphasised that it was a sin for Alex to remain in a Western country and their conversations increasingly turned to her travelling to “a Muslim land”.
He offered to pay for a flight to Austria to meet a potential suitor, who was “45, bald but nice Muslim”.
Alex’s grandmother eventually got wind of her grand-daughter’s activities online and challenged Mostafa, who promised never to contact the young woman again.
Even after she was supposed to have ceased all communication with her Muslim contacts online, Alex said: “I don’t think the Islamic State is as bad as everyone says. I think that their atrocities are exaggerated.”
Hannah Stuart, a terrorism expert at the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: “This is a huge concern. This man has been in the security services’ radar for more than 15 years.”
Charlie Winter, of the Quilliam Foundation counter-extremism group, said: “It would make sense for the security services to keep track of what individuals like this are saying online.”
At Mostafa’s modern semi-detached family home a woman, believed to be his wife, said: "He is not here and he does not want to talk to anyone.