ISIS recruit may have used welfare cash to fund family’s terror journey
A terror recruit took his entire immediate family — including three young children — to join the Islamic State in Syria and may have used government welfare money to bankroll the trip, according to the Sunday Times.
The family’s former landlady in East London made the discovery, saying she learned the man’s wife received monthly housing benefit payments of about $1,230 that she failed to pass on in rent.
The suspect, 30-year-old Shahan Choudhury, was “brainwashed” by Islamic extremism while awaiting trial for the murder of a 17-year-old hospital worker before he was acquitted in 2007, other members of Choudhury’s family told the newspaper.
“He was just like any other western kid when he went in but by the time he came out he was going on about religion and how the kuffar [non-believers] would all end up in the hellfire,” an unnamed relative added.
After Choudhury got out of prison, he ran right into the arms of al-Muhajiroun (ALM), a banned terror group led by the firebrand cleric Anjem Choudary, preaching and growing out his beard, The Times reported. His wife, Mehak, whom he married in 2010, was a fellow radical, according to her family.
Police “told me there was no evidence of extremism and that, as an adult, she could do what she wanted,” her father, Mohammed, said last weekend.
Choudhury reportedly bolted to Syria in 2015. His wife apparently followed less than a year later, taking their 4-year-old and 2-year-old daughters as well as their baby son, according to the newspaper.
Anjem Choudary, the preacher they were said to follow, was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison last year for inviting support for ISIS.