A Leicestershire man, Hisham Chaudhary, who used Bitcoin to fund the IS, has been jailed for 12 years after the court heard that he was a “trusted and respected” individual in the eyes of other terrorists.
The individual was found guilty of being a member of the organization after the conclusion of a month-long trial at the Birmingham Crown Court. The Jurors also found Chaudhary guilty on four other counts of disseminating propaganda and two guilty verdicts of entering a funding arrangement that violated anti-terror laws.
The judge, Paul Farrer QC, during the sentencing told the 28-year-old Chaudhary,
“The evidence demonstrates that in late 2016 you traveled to the Middle East for approximately two-and-a-half months. In a social media conversation in 2019, you indicated that you had unsuccessfully attempted to get into Syria… in order to lend physical support to the IS cause. I conclude that by late 2016 you had become a member of that organization – as a member, you were both trusted and respected.”
The judge also added,
“There are repeated references within social media conversations to those activities, and the extent of your activities is revealed by your Bitcoin trading history.”
The judge was referring to the court being told that Chaudhary had purchased £17,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2018, out of which £16,000 was transferred to unidentified sources. After this, in 2019, Chaudhary bought and transferred £35,000 more using Bitcoin. Chaudhary, on his part, claimed that the funds were transferred for humanitarian and other charitable work.
The judge, reading out the sentencing for Chaudhary, stated,
“In summary, by the time of your arrest in November 2019, you had been a member of IS for approximately three years. I have to consider whether you are dangerous. You are an intelligent man, and unfortunately, your actions demonstrate you are a committed extremist intent. There is no reason to believe you will surrender these views lightly. I conclude you are and are likely to remain a dangerous offender for the foreseeable future. As such, I conclude that an extended sentence of imprisonment is necessary to protect the public from the risk that you present.”
Arrested After A Joint Operation
Chaudhary will not be able to apply for parole until he has served at least two-thirds of his twelve-year sentence. He will also be subjected to an extended five-year license period after his release. Chaudhary was arrested by officers from the CTPNE (Counter Terrorism Policing North East ) after a lengthy investigation that was supported by the Leicestershire Police and the Counter-Terrorism Policing East Midlands.
The CTPNE stated that detectives had uncovered enough evidence to suggest that Chaudhary was a “trusted and active” member of a banned organization and not only subscribed to their dangerous ideology but also immersed himself in supporting their activities and spreading their propaganda, posing a serious risk to society.
The trial was also told that Chaudhary was creating videos to spread the ideology and even went to great lengths to prevent the videos from being taken down by law-enforcement agencies.
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