Birmingham & Black Country

Awat Hamasalih from Birmingham is jailed for IS membership

Awat Hamasalih Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Awat Hamasalih was convicted last month

A recruiter for so-called Islamic State (IS) who helped two British would-be jihadis in their efforts to join fighters in Syria has been jailed.

Awat Hamasalih had denied being an IS member but was found to have run an "active and committed" campaign for the terror group from his home in Kingstanding, Birmingham.

Jurors were told he tipped off an IS commander in Iraq of imminent attack.

The 35-year-old was sentenced to six years at the Old Bailey.

Judge Richard Marks QC said the Iraqi Kurd was a committed "advocate and ambassador" for the "pernicious" terror group.

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He also helped them through speeches, social media and crowd-funding and was found in possession of a military document containing information about the identities of Peshmerga fighters resisting IS expansion.

Judge Marks said although there was no evidence that he was involved in planning an act of terrorism, he had an extremist mindset and was committed to pursuing and promoting IS's aims by "the widest dissemination of its propaganda", which included images of beheaded captives.

Hamasalih, of Finchley Road, who came to the UK in 2002 and became a British citizen in 2008, was convicted last month of being a member of IS and possessing documents likely to be useful to them.

He had admitted being a supporter of IS but denied membership and denounced the terror attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, the court heard.

But jurors were told how he helped the two would-be jihadis as they prepared to travel to Syria to fight, using the code word "car wash" when discussing plans.

Shivan Azeez Zangana, 21, was subsequently arrested at the al Noor mosque in Birmingham and Aras Hamid, 27, detained en route to Dover after being found hiding in the back of a lorry.

In January, Hamid was jailed for seven years and Zangana three after they were convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism.

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