A west London barber convicted of sending thousands of pounds to fund terrorist activity in Syria has been jailed, following an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command
Tarek Namouz, 43 (01.09.79) of west London, exchanged messages with a Daesh supporter in Syria, in which they talked about purchasing weapons and explosives to use against the Syrian government forces.
He was arrested in May 2021 in a pre-planned operation by counter terrorism officers. Namouz sent in excess of £11,280 to his contact in Syria over a number of months.
Following Namouz’s conviction for ten terrorism offences last month after a trial, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and one year on licence at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday, 5 January.
The court heard that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Namouz had received grants from the government to assist his business.
In passing sentence, HHJ Lodder KC said: “In 2020 and 2021, you ran a barbers shop in Hammersmith. You were entitled to Covid bounce-back loans which were paid to you by the local council. You sent that money, and other money, through a West London transfer and currency exchange, to terrorists in Syria.”
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:
“Terrorist groups rely on funding to carry out their activities and to continue to operate.
“People like Namouz who provide money to terrorist groups – both in the UK and overseas – are enabling others to go and commit serious and deadly attacks, and we will always pursue and investigate those people and seek to bring them to justice.”
Namouz sent the money via a money transfer bureau in west London. Detectives found records of transactions totalling £11,280.
However, whilst on remand, he was recorded telling a visitor who had come to see him in prison that he had sent more than double that amount – around £25,000.
When officers visited Namouz’s flat to arrest him on 25 May 2021, he told officers he didn’t have a phone. But during the search, detectives found one hidden in a recess under a drawer.
It was on this phone that officers found Daesh propaganda material consisting of thousands of messages, and documents which he had downloaded from Telegram. This also included two videos – one which gave instructions on how to create an improvised explosive device, and another detailing how to carry out knife attacks.
Namouz was found guilty of eight counts of funding terrorism (contrary to Section ), and two counts of possessing information likely to be useful for terrorism (contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000) at Kingston Crown Court on 8 December 2022.
Communities defeat terrorism, and information from the public is vital to counter terrorism investigations. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious and think someone may be engaging in terrorist activity, trust your instincts and act by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency, dial 999.