Twelve Years in Prison for Blythe Road Barber Who Funded ISIS

Convicted rapist Tarek Namouz shouts 'May Allah destroy you' when sentenced

Tarek Namouz. Picture: Met Police

January 7, 2023

A former pub landlord and convicted rapist who ran a barber’s shop on Blythe Road has been jailed for 12 years after it was found he had sent thousands of pounds to Islamic State.

43-year-old Tarek Namouz used Covid bounceback loans disbursed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to dispatch £25,000 to fund terrorism in Syria.

The money was sent to a school friend Yahya Ahmed Alia between November 2020 and May 2021.

Namouz was born in Syria but came to the UK when he was a teenager. He lived alone above the Boss Crew Barbers shop on Blythe Road.

Despite pleading not guilty, he was convicted after a trial last month of eight counts of providing money for terrorism and two counts of possessing information useful for terrorism.

After his sentencing at Kingston Crown Court , Namouz thanked the judge Peter Lodder KC and then shouted, “May Allah destroy you, may Allah destroy you. We will meet on judgment day. You are a Catholic and you will end up in hell.”

In passing sentence, the judge said, “In 2020 and 2021, you ran a barber’s shop in Hammersmith. You were entitled to Covid bounce-back loans which were paid to you by the local council. You sent that money, and other money, through a west London transfer and currency exchange, to terrorists in Syria.”

He dismissed Namouz’s claim that the money was going to help the poor saying that it was clear it was being used to establish a base for terrorist activities.

Namouz was on licence from a ten-year sentence for raping a woman handed out in 2014 when he was managing a pub in Finsbury Park. He set up the barbers in Olympia after his release in September 2019

Sentencing him, the Judge said, “You were entitled to Covid bounceback loans which were paid to you by your local council. You sent that money and other money at West London Currency Exchange to a terrorist in Syria between 30 November 2020 and 19 April 2021 on seven separate occasions."

Police had direct evidence of more than £11,000 being transferred but, after recorded conversations during a prison visit in August 2021 which Namouz confirmed to his friend he had sent over £25,000, the jury decided his was guilty of transferring the larger amount.

When police raided Namouz's barbershop in May 2021, they found £3,170 in cash in a recess under a drawer. When this phone was analysed, WhatsApp messages between him and a Daesh supporter in Syria were discovered in which they talked about purchasing weapons and explosives to use against the Syrian government forces as well as slaughtering non-believers.

Officers also found Daesh propaganda material consisting of thousands of videos, messages, and documents which he had downloaded from Telegram.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Terrorist groups rely on funding to carry out their activities and to continue to operate.

“People like Namouz who provide money to terrorist groups - both in the UK and overseas - are enabling others to go and commit serious and deadly attacks, and we will always pursue and investigate those people and seek to bring them to justice.”

Namouz serve two thirds of his sentence before being considered for release.

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