Algerian national Nasserdine Menni guilty of funding Stockholm terror attack

 

An Algerian national has been found guilty of funding terrorism but cleared of conspiracy to murder following a suicide bombing in Stockholm.

Nasserdine Menni was convicted of transferring money to Taimour Abdulwahab, who later blew himself up in the Swedish capital on December 11 2010.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow found a charge that Menni conspired to murder members of the Swedish public not proven.

Menni, whose age is not known, was also convicted of immigration and benefit fraud.

Addressing trial judge Lord Matthews as he left the dock, Menni said: "My Lord, I thank you very much for the justice in Scotland."

Jurors took just over nine hours to clear Menni of an allegation that he conspired with Abdulwahab to further terrorist aims in carrying out the bombing with intent to murder members of the public.

But, following a 12-week trial, he was found guilty of sending a total of £5,725 to a bank account in Abdulwahab's name in the knowledge that it could be used for terrorism purposes.

Abdulwahab rigged an Audi car with explosives in the hope it would drive people to Drottninggatan, a busy shopping street about 200 yards away, where he was waiting to set off two more devices strapped to his chest and back.

The car bomb never went off, and after setting fire to the Audi he was unable to detonate the other two explosives as planned.

He made his way down a side street off Drottninggatan and, in an apparent attempt to fix the faulty trigger up his sleeve, set off the bomb on the front of his body, killing only himself.

David Harvie, director of serious casework for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said: "Nasserdine Menni has today been brought to justice for a terrorist act which culminated in the Stockholm suicide bombing of 2010.

"He was involved in the financing of this attack which was intended to murder members of the public in Sweden. It was only good fortune which prevented members of the public being killed.

"His guilt has been established by a meticulous and painstaking inquiry by Scottish law enforcement working with their Swedish and UK counterparts.

"I hope his conviction sends a clear message to the tiny extremist minority, who are not in any way representative of the Muslim community in Scotland: anyone contemplating terrorist crimes should know that law enforcement will bring you to justice."

Menni transferred the money to Abdulwahab between January 2005 and December 2010. He moved to Glasgow in 2009 after living in Luton, where he is believed to have first met Abdulwahab, for five years.

He was a bogus Kuwaiti asylum seeker, and claimed he was escaping persecution. He worked in bars and restaurants around the city and lived at an asylum seeker's hostel.

He obtained a false French passport and identity documents to open a bank account and later claimed benefits he was not entitled to.

Police swooped on him in February last year following three months of constant surveillance in which they established contact between the pair.

For five days, he answered every question put to him by detectives with "no comment".

Menni also transferred £1,000 to the bomber's wife Mona Thwany, 29, after Abulwahab died.

She claimed in court that it was "a cultural thing" to look after the family members of someone who had died.

Strathclyde Police's investigation was supported by the FBI, as well as the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorism branch and forces in Sweden and France.

A date of birth for Menni is still not known, but officers believe him to be around 31 or 32 years old.

After the verdicts were returned, Lord Matthews thanked the jury and also expressed his gratitude to an interpreter who sat beside Menni throughout the three-month trial.

Menni will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on August 27.

PA

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