Friday 15 November 2019

Jihadi John keeps his bank account despite UK freezing terrorists' assets

Mohammed Emwazi, a former London schoolboy unmasked as 'Jihadi John’, still has use of his British bank account
Mohammed Emwazi, a former London schoolboy unmasked as 'Jihadi John’, still has use of his British bank account
Mohammed Emwazi as a teenage boy Credit: Channel 4 News

Robert Mendick

Only six out of more than 600 British jihadists have had their bank accounts frozen under special terror laws.

Just €70,000 (£50,000) worth of assets was frozen in bank accounts opened by terror suspects operating in the UK.

The amount was branded “remarkably low” by David Anderson QC, the Government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, in a new report.

Mr Anderson said the figures laid bare the Coalition’s failure to seize jihadists’ money under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Act (TAFA) 2010.

Mohammed Emwazi, a former London schoolboy who was unmasked as 'Jihadi John’, the ISIS executioner, is one of hundreds who has escaped a freezing order.

More than 300 British jihadists who fought in Syria and Iraq and have since returned to the UK are also now free to continue using their bank accounts, despite the fact they will have been identified by security services as terrorists.

In his report, Mr Anderson says more than 600 British-based jihadists have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State and other terror groups such as al-Qaeda but six have had their assets frozen.

They are: Nasser Muthana (20), Reyaad Khan (21), both from Cardiff, and Ruhul Amin, from Aberdeen, who all appeared in an ISIS recruitment video last summer, which sparked widespread outrage in the UK.

Muthana’s 17-year-old brother Aseel Muthana was also added to the list after he went to Syria.

The fifth man on the list is Nur Idiris Hassan (21), from Manchester, joined ISIS with the help of chemistry teacher Jamshed Javeed who has since pleaded guilty to terrorist offences.

A further unnamed terror suspect is the sixth man on the list.

Professor Anthony Glees, director of the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said that the public would “find it incomprehensible” that so few jihadists have had their assets seized in the UK.

“These are people who are involved in terrorism and I can’t see why the Government doesn’t freeze banks accounts of jihadists who are committing atrocities in Syria and Iraq,” he said.

“Where there is a strong suspicion that someone in the UK is connected to terrorist activity, freezing their bank accounts might actually stop them leaving the UK to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State."

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