Nasserdine Menni jailed for transferring money to Stockholm suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab

 

An Algerian national who was found guilty of funding terrorism following a suicide bombing in Stockholm has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

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

He sent a total of £5,725 to a bank account in Abdulwahab's name in the knowledge that it could be used for terrorism purposes.

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

However, he was cleared of a charge which alleged he conspired to murder members of the Swedish public when a jury found it not proven after a 12-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

At the same court today Judge Lord Matthews jailed Menni for seven years.

There was a heavy police presence at the court, where the judge told Menni: "Funding provides assistance for those who would carry out terrorist acts.

"The sentencing of the court must reflect the potential use."

The court heard that Menni intends to appeal against his conviction.

His defence counsel, William Taylor QC, said immigration authorities had notified his client that they would attempt to have him expelled from the UK.

Abdulwahab rigged an Audi car with explosives in the hope that the blast 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.

Menni transferred the money to Abdulwahab between January 2005 and December 2010.

He moved to Glasgow in 2009 after living in Luton, Bedfordshire, 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 seekers' hostel in Curle Street.

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 him and Abdulwahab.

Lord Matthews sentenced Menni to a total of 30 months for the benefit and immigration charges. This will run concurrently with the seven-year sentence, backdated to March last year when he entered custody.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Cuddihy, from Strathclyde Police, said Menni's arrest was a "severe blow to terrorism".

PA

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