Thursday, August 03, 2017

ISIS secret agent, 35, who used Britain as a base to recruit new jihadis, raise cash and tip off military commanders is jailed for six years

  • Awat Hamasalih jailed for six years for membership of a terrorist organisation
  • He claimed he was 'proud to be British' and denied he supported ISIS
  • Prosecutors argued he was an 'active and committed member' of the group
  • Hamasalih used social media and a broadcast website to drum up support
Awat Hamasalih, 35, was jailed for six years for membership of a terrorist organisation
Awat Hamasalih, 35, was jailed for six years for membership of a terrorist organisation
An ISIS secret agent has been jailed for six years after using Britain as a base to tip off military commanders, raise money and recruit new fighters.
Awat Hamasalih, 35, was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of the unusual charge of membership of a terrorist organisation.
Hamasalih, from Kingstanding in the West Midlands, had claimed to be 'an enthusiast who is proud to be British' and denied he supported the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
He had successfully fought extradition to Italy on terrorist charges after irregularities were shown in the prosecution.
But the court heard he was an 'active and committed member' of ISIS who was using the internet to drum up support for the terrorist group and sending young men to join the fighting.
It can be disclosed that they included Aras Mohammed Hamid, 27, an Iraqi refugee who tried to return to his home country and become a suicide bomber.
Another, Shivan Azeez Zangana, 21 had only been in Britain for eight months when he was found sleeping in a mosque in Birmingham waiting for people smugglers to get him out of the country.
Hamid was jailed for seven years and Azeez for three years in January this year.
Hamasalih had been living in Britain since 2002 when he claimed asylum - apart from a year in Finland - and became a British citizen in 2008.

But he was using Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and a broadcast website called Paltalk to drum up support for ISIS.

He was receiving small amounts of money into his bank account from all over the country, using Twitter to drum up donations, the Old Bailey heard.

Hamasalih, an Iraqi Kurd, had once fought for the Peshmerga in the late 1990s but had changed sides to join ISIS.

He was found with the human resources files for two regiments of Peshmerga guerilla forces, the main Western-backed force fighting ISIS in Syria.

He was also tipping off ISIS commanders about potential attacks, warning a commander called Khattab al-Kurdi about an impending attack by the Peshmerga on the city of Mosul.

Paul Hynes QC said his client was 'an enthusiast who is proud to be British.'

'You have to be sure that his support goes beyond that support and we say there is no evidence that goes to membership,' he added.

'We don't expect you to like Mr Hamasalih or to like or to approve of him, we just want him to have a fair trial.'

But Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, told the court: 'The defendant was not just a supporter but an advocate, an ambassador, a rallying call for the values and beliefs espoused by ISIS.'

It can now be reported that in November 2015 a British court turned down an application from Italy to extradite him as a member of the radical group Rawti Shax.

He was also jailed for four years, to run concurrently, for three charges of possessing articles for a purpose connected to terrorism.

Hamasalih's autobiography unveiled his life from fighter to radical group member

Police discovered an autobiography detailing Awat Hamasalih's life from a Peshmerga fighter to a member of radical group, it can be revealed.
The book, called: 'Living with Foxes fighting with Wolves', told of his journey from a Peshmerga fighter to joining the radical group Ansar al-Islam. 
It was found among 78 personnel documents which gave the name, rank, date and place of birth, and the mother and father's names, for hundreds of Peshmerga fighters in Iraq.
He also described how he had opened an 'Islamic Salafi Jihadi Chatroom' in October 2005 called Didinwe in support of Osama bin Laden; Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban; and Mullah Krekar, the leader of Ansar al-Islam, who was living in Finland. 
One message, posted to an encrypted Whatsapp chat group he had set up, in August 2014, he wrote: 'How nice is that? The captive Peshmerga are in the hands of the lions of the Islamic State.'
In another, the following month, he added: 'Breaking news: more than 20 members of the Peshmerga forces have been captured in Zummar - beheading and beheading.'
Hamasalih was stopped re-entering Britain from Finland in December 2014 and police found images of him performing the ISIS one-fingered salute along with messages encouraging others to watch Youtube videos supporting ISIS.
He was searched again as he left the country in March 2015 and arrested on the Italian warrant in November 2015 when the list of Peshmerga fighters was also found.  
The group was still running in 2013 when he hired a hall in Birmingham under the name Awat Karkuky to run a seminar in which he told followers: 'We must not be scared of death because death comes from Allah and it is not in the tyrant's power. We must not be afraid of being imprisoned.'
On Facebook he posted: 'There is no doubt that anyone who understands the basic tenets of Islam knows that the ongoing events in the Levant [Syria] are from JIHAD for the sake of Allah and it is a duty upon anybody who is capable of doing it.'
Hamasalih was re-arrested in the car park of the YMCA in Erdington, Birmingham, in November 2016 when police found a document issued by ISIS a month earlier containing 'special instructions for the Caliphate soldiers.'
Included scrawling 'writing shia slogans on walls and insulting the Caliphs [ISIS leaders] as this is legitimate by sharia because it pours into the Muslims' interests.'
Another said they should 'not allow families to leave and remain in their houses.'
In the months before his arrest Hamasalih had used Facebook to post an image of one of the Paris attackers, posted a video of the Brussels attack and praised the killer of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub. 

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