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British member of IS jailed for 10 years
A Libyan-British national with close links to the Manchester Arena bomber has been jailed for 10 years for being a member of the Islamic State.
Mohammed Abdallah, 26, travelled to Syria with the help of his younger brother, Abdalraouf, who was convicted last year of assisting others in committing acts of terrorism.
It was discovered in 2016 that Abdallah was an ISIS fighter when a defector from the terror group passed files to Sky News that listed him as a specialist sniper with expertise with the ‘Dushka’, a Russian heavy machine gun.
On Thursday, Abdallah, from Moss Side in Manchester, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of possessing an AK47 gun, receiving £2,000 for terrorism and membership of ISIS.
The trial heard how he had travelled to Syria in 2014 with Nezar Khalifa, 28 also from Manchester, to meet two others from the city: the former RAF serviceman Stephen Gray, 34, and Raymond Matimba, 28.
Abdullah was arrested by counter terrorism police when he returned to the UK in September 2016.
His trial had been delayed in the wake of the attack on the Manchester Arena for fear that the jury would be prejudiced by reports of his links with the bomber Salman Abedi, who attended the same mosque as the brothers.
The brothers, who had moved to Manchester from Libya as children, had joined the Tripoli Brigade fighting against the Gaddafi regime in 2011. Abdalraouf was shot in battle and paralysed from the waist down.
In 2016, Abdalraouf, now 24, was found guilty of assisting others in committing acts of terrorism and of terror funding, and jailed for five and a half years.
Giving evidence during his trial, Abdallah denied swearing allegiance to ISIS, saying he went to Syria only to help deliver $5,000 to the poor and someone else must have filled out the form without his knowledge.