British jihadi listed as sniper in leaked Isis records, court told

 British jihadi listed as sniper in leaked Isis records, court told

A British jihadi was listed as a specialist sniper in official Islamic State records leaked to a television reporter by a defector, a court has heard.

Mohammed Abdallah, 26, travelled to Syria with help from his brother who set up a “hub” of communication at home in Manchester, the Old Bailey in London was told on Thursday.

He allegedly went to the country intending to meet three fellow jihadis, including a former RAF serviceman Stephen Gray.

While three of them managed to cross into Syria in July 2014, Gray was turned away when he reached Turkey, jurors were told.

Abdallah, who has dual Libyan nationality, allegedly went on to receive £2,000 in cash, source an AK-47 assault rifle, and sign up with Isis with the assistance of his 24-year-old brother Abdalraouf.

The younger sibling had been paralysed from the waist down when the brothers fought the Gaddafi regime in 2011, jurors have been told.

While there, the defendant allegedly got experience as a sniper and handling heavy Russian-made machine guns, according to Isis documents leaked in 2016.

Mark Heywood QC, prosecuting, told jurors how the Isis file detailing his previous fighting knowledge fell into the hands of a Sky News journalist.

He said: “In March 2016, Stuart Ramsay, chief correspondent with Sky News travelled to Şanlıurfa, on Turkey’s border with Syria, to meet Isis defectors facilitated by contacts in the Free Syrian Army.

“One, known only to Mr Ramsay as Abu Hamed, said he had been a registrar or an assistant in the bureaucracy of Isis in Syria.”

He handed over a USB stick containing Isis records, which were passed on to Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism officers, jurors heard.

One of the formal records, which had the Isis flag in the top right-hand corner, was allegedly a file on the defendant.

In an entry entitled “any previous jihadi experience”, it stated that he fought in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi.

He was listed as a “fighter” specialising in use of “dushka” – a Russian machine gun – and as a “sniper”, the court was told.

Heywood told jurors Abdallah’s nickname, date of birth, nationality and previous experience all matched. The document was very important, given the specific biographical detail it contained, he said.

“His specialisation, in other words how he might sell himself as useful to Islamic State, includes that he has experience of using a dushka … You will see that not only is it true that the defendant had then got that previous experience, but that recorded images exist of his doing so together with his brother previously.”

Abdalraouf Abdallah’s phone number was also listed as his next of kin contact, jurors heard.

Abdalraouf Abdallah and Gray were arrested in Manchester in November 2014. Gray went on to admit three terrorism offences, including his attempts to travel to Syria.

In May 2016, Abdulraouf Abdallah was convicted by a jury at Woolwich crown court of assisting others in committing acts of terrorism, and terror funding.

Jurors were told that Raymond Matimba, one of the defendant’s group, was last known to be with Isis in Raqqah. On September 16 2016, Mohammed Abdallah returned to Britain via Tunisia and was arrested, jurors were told.

Mohammed Abdallah, of Moss Side in Manchester, denies possessing a gun and receiving £2,000 for terrorism purposes as well as membership of Isis.