Not to be confused with the underwear bomber, but the it’s all for the jihad nonetheless.
British student arrested at Heathrow ‘had £16,000 hidden in her knickers for Syrian fighters’
- Nawal Msaad, 26, was arrested as she prepared to fly to Istanbul
- Undergraduate had 20,000 euros wrapped in clingfilm in her underwear
- She and alleged co-conspirator Amal Elwahabi are the first British women to be charged with terror offences over the conflict in Syria
- Britosn attempted to send notes to a suspected jihadist
- Neither entered pleas as they appeared in front of court in Westminster
By REBECCA CAMBER, CRIME REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 22:44 GMT, 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:19 GMT, 24 January 2014
Charged: British student Nawal Msaad, 26, is accused of trying to smuggle £16,500 in her underwear to terrorists fighting in Syria
A student accused of trying to smuggle £16,500 in her underwear to terrorists fighting in Syria appeared in court yesterday.
Nawal Msaad, 26, and her alleged co-conspirator Amal Elwahabi, 27, are the first British women charged with terror offences over the conflict.
Msaad, an undergraduate from Holloway, North London, was arrested at Heathrow last Thursday as she prepared to board a flight to Istanbul with 20,000 euros wrapped in cling film in her knickers.
Hours later, police swooped on Elwahabi, who stands jointly accused of being part of an arrangement in which money was made available for the purposes of terrorism.
Yesterday the two women wept and hugged as they appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard that the two Britons attempted to send the bundle of rolled-up notes to a suspected British jihadist fighting in Syria’s civil war.
Officers from Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command arrested Msaad at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 9.20am last Thursday. Elwahabi was arrested at 2.26pm at her home in Willesden, North-West London, where she lives with her two sons, aged five and seven months old. Yesterday both women spoke only to confirm their names, addresses and dates of birth.
Neither indicated a plea to the charge.
District Judge Howard Riddle remanded the women, who are both of Moroccan descent, in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on January 31.
The charges became public as police revealed that schoolgirls as young as 17 have been arrested at UK airports over suspected terrorist offences linked to Syria.
The head of the Counter Terrorism Command, Richard Walton, said several teenagers had been enticed to join jihadists fighting in the war-torn country, as he warned that the conflict posed a growing threat to national security.
Earlier this month, two 17-year-old girls from London and West Yorkshire were held at Heathrow as they were boarding a flight to Istanbul. Officers spent five days quizzing the girls before releasing them without charge. But Mr Walton said yesterday that other ‘boys and girls’ were being lured to join rebel forces fighting in Syria.
He said the numbers of Syria-related terror arrests had soared, with 14 in the first three weeks of this year – more than half the total for the whole of 2013.
He said: ‘We’ve had a number of teenagers both from London and nationally who’ve been attempting to go to Syria. That’s boys and girls, unfortunately.
‘It’s not just the odd one. It’s shocking that they are such young people.’