Woman accused of funding terrorism married foreign fighter and supported the Islamic State
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A Liverpool woman married a foreign Islamist fighter and spoke in support of “violent jihad” and Islamic State (IS) terrorists, a jury heard.
Amaani Noor, 21, is on trial accused of funding terrorism after sending $45.51 to an Islamist organisation called Merciful Hands, via the online payment service Paypal, on May 23, 2018.
Noor, of Cinema Drive, Wavertree, admits sending the money but denies she knew or suspected it would be used for the purposes of terrorism.
A jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard Noor had been introduced to Merciful Hands by 28-year-old Victoria Webster, of Nelson in East Lancashire, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to funding terrorism.
Webster sent a message to Noor on the day the money was sent, suggesting “we must help” the family of a foreign fighter who had fallen on hard times.
The message said: “The father is a frontliner, and due to his circumstances and debts it’s hard to keep food on the table.”
Diana Wilson, prosecuting, told the jury that only a minute after sending the money Noor messaged Webster, saying: “So will it go to a brother who is a fighter or ex fighter and has a family?.”
Ms Wilson told the jury: “The Crown suggests that message is of some importance to your considerations.”
She said: “The Crown in this case say that Amaani Noor knew or had reasonable cause to suspect that the money would or may be used to support people fighting against the Syrian government for a political, religious or an ideological cause.
“The Crown say this because of her extensive messages showing interest in and support for extremist organisations, the fact that her husband is an Islamist Syrian fighter, her support for Sharia law, the context with her other messages including the messages she has viewed on the Merciful Hands channel, the way the money was sent and the fact that immediately after sending the money she sent a message asking if the money will go to a fighter or ex-fighter.
“It is clear from the context that she did not think she was giving money to support Syrian government forces.”
However she said the channel was similar to a Twitter feed,meaning it was not clear whether Noor had viewed those particular posts prior to sending the money.
The jury heard two iPhones, seized from Noor’s address, contained exchanges on the encrypted online messaging service Telegram in which she spoke about the merits of Islamic State ideology.
A deleted email recovered from Noor’s phone, sent to her fighter husband, described her fears and thoughts about her “dream” of joining him in Syria.
It said: “I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.. In a foreign land alone with no support no family, disowned by my country.
“Maybe enough money to last me a year or two but then what, I’m going to be some charity case being shared around telegram, there’s no way I can live like that.
“I hate talking like this cause its like ERM amaani girl you should’ve thought about all this before, and I did trust me I knew what I was getting myself into.
“It’s been my dream to marry a fighter for a long time and my dream to be a fighter myself even longer lol, so I don’t know why I’m feeling like this maybe my imaans just low atm I am on my period so maybe I’m just over emotional n over thinking lol I don’t know tbh my heads just all over the place.”
Ms Wilson said IS propaganda videos, several depicting terrorist fighters torturing, executing and beheading victims, were found on her phone.
One video, showing the execution of prisoners wearing orange jumpsuits, was linked to a message from Webster to Noor which said: “These one in the orange are kuffar (infidels)’.
One message from Noor to Webster said: “IS I feel make it too open and are too harsh, there was a video that showed IS pulling over these guys and they asked them some questions about Islam and they didn’t like what they heard so they put them in their knees and shot them in the back..like they should of corrected their answer and asked if they will accept what they’ve just been told and if they say yes then leave them but if they reject it then ovs do what is correct.”
In another message she said she had “no problem” with people being “killed justly if they refuse to do certain things according to Islam.”
Ms Wilson said Noor was arrested in November and denied knowing her donation may be used by terrorists.
Ms Wilson told the court: “She said she intended her donation be used to buy food for a poor family in Syria.
“She denies knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that the donation would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism.”
Source: Liverpool Echo