A married couple from London have admitted providing funding for their nephew who was fighting in Syria with militants from the Islamic State group.
Mohammed and Nazimabee Golamaully, from Mitcham, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to transferring £219, knowing it may be used for terrorist purposes.
Nephew Zafirr Golamaully travelled from his home on the Indian Ocean island Mauritius to join IS. His uncle and aunt will be sentenced on 10 November. They did not tell Zafirr’s parents and their money transfer was only discovered during a police investigation into a worldwide network of terrorism funding.
Prosecutors said that, before leaving his home in Mauritius, Zafirr had spoken to his uncle on the messaging app Whatsapp, asking for help to deceive his parents.
In March 2014 Zafirr said: “Told them I’m going to get ‘nursing’ training and that I won’t be available for next two weeks.” Mohammed Golamaully, 48, replied: “The story of two weeks training sounds plausible prior to undertaking humanitarian aid.” Soon afterwards Zafirr was in Syria, fighting with IS, and attracting attention under the online alias Abu Hud, using social media to offer detailed instructions to others who wanted to travel to Syria.
He told his uncle: “They taught us military stances, formations and weapons.” The pair then discussed how to send money by Western Union transfer.
In another exchange Zafirr said that he might be going into battle soon in eastern Syria. His uncle reassured him that he would not say a word to his parents. At the same time Mohammed Golamaully was having secret chats with Zafirr’s sister Lubnaa, telling his niece “to revolutionise the Islamic concept amongst our close relatives”. He told her that a speech by the leader of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was a “beautiful speech and very well worded. A truly scholarly style.”
Parents In Shock
In March 2015 Lubnaa is believed to have followed in her brother’s footsteps and travelled to Syria, texting her uncle to say Zafirr had bought her a gun. Mohammed Golamaully warned her: “You’ll need to learn how to use it now.” Later that day Nazimabee Golamaully, 45, spoke with the children’s mother, Zulekha, on Whatsapp asking if she was OK. She received the reply: “No, we are not okay… been in shock… I do not know if we have missed anything in our education of our children.” Nazimabee replied: “Not at all, instead maybe u have been blessed but u just can’t see it now.”
The role the married couple played was exposed by chance by detectives who were looking into a network that was funnelling money from around the world to IS via a man known as Mohamed Alhmidan in Turkey.
Between August and November 2014, Mr Alhmidan received 107 payments worth a total of £114,124. The payments, made by Western Union, included eight from individuals in the UK. One of those payments was from Nazimabee Golamaully’s bank account. She told police it was to fund her nephew’s studies in Turkey but in court she admitted it was to fund terrorism.