City leaders welcome conviction of Portsmouth brothers on terror charges

Brothers Tuhin Shahensha and Mustakim Jaman who have been convicted of terror offences
Brothers Tuhin Shahensha and Mustakim Jaman who have been convicted of terror offences

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  • Brothers convicted over terror offences linked to Syria
  • Man previously jailed for terror crime set to be released
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CITY leaders have welcomed justice being done after two brothers of a ‘celebrity jihadi’ were convicted of Syria terror offences.

Ifthekar Jaman’s brothers Tuhin Shahensha, 26, and Mustakim Jaman, 23, both of Hudson Road, Somers Town, were found guilty at Kingston Crown Court under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 relating to the preparation of terrorist acts.

I have been talking to the police about this and raising my concern and they assure me [Choudhury] will not be coming back to Portsmouth in the foreseeable future

Flick Drummond

And on the day of their conviction, The News can reveal that Mashudur Choudhury, who is serving a prison sentence after joining the self-styled Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys in Syria with their brother, is set to be released soon.

Members of the Muslim community and politicians have vowed to battle to ensure he is not allowed back into Portsmouth when freed.

Progress has been made under the counter-extremism Prevent and Channel programmes since Ifthekar Jaman left in May 2013 and authorities do not want that to be undone.

Five out of six men from the Britani Brigade – all from the city – have died in Syria, with Choudhury jailed on his return.

Despite not travelling to the war-torn country, today Jaman and Shahensha are waking up facing the certain prospect of jail when they are sentenced on November 18.

Their trial heard both young men helped others to travel to Syria and made their bank accounts available to facilitate money transfers for terrorist purposes.

Shahensha bought equipment and clothing and made plans to travel to Syria and engage in acts of terrorism, the court heard.

And they used secure messaging to commit the crimes and repeatedly lied after their arrest by counter-terror police in a raid at their home in Hudson Road, Somers Town, in October last year.

Both admired their brother Ifthekar and spent a great deal of time and money to help the men to Syria.

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Police release video of Ifthekar Jaman firing gun

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Flick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP, welcomed the verdicts.

She said: ‘It’s good to see that justice has been done.’

She added: ‘We’ve already lost six young men from Portsmouth to Syria very sadly and their families are still grieving and we don’t want any more to go.

‘They will be jailed, this is the consequence of it.

‘I’m very please this has come to a final conclusion.’

She said the government’s counter-radicalisation programmes are working and Choudhury should not be allowed back into the city.

She said: ‘I have been talking to the police about this and raising my concern and they assure me he will not be coming back to Portsmouth in the foreseeable future.’

She added: ‘It would be difficult for the families of the men he convinced to go to Syria.’

In July academics studying British fighters abroad said Assad Uzzaman, 25, from Portsmouth, died fighting with Isil.

His death marked the end of the group, coming after former St John’s College pupil Mehdi Hassan, 19, and Manunur Roshid, 24, from Buckland, died in October last year.

They are believed to have died in fighting at Kobane, a Syrian border city.

Primark supervisor Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25, died in August last year.

The men were captured on CCTV travelling from Fratton train station to Gatwick Airport on October 8 in 2013 before boarding a flight to Turkey.

In an interview with this newspaper following Choudhury’s conviction for preparing for acts of terrorism, Mustakim Jaman said he thought the 31-year-old was ‘friendly’.

Mustakim also said he did not know of anyone travelling to Syria.

Sumel Chowdhury, a community activist, said: ‘Those people who went to Syria or those people still involved with these things, I can say first: they are stupid. They don’t know about Islam at all.

‘I’m a Muslim and I’m happy to be a Muslim and the religion I know and what they are thinking is completely different.’

He said he believes no-one else will travel to Syria.

Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, which has responsibility for Prevent, said: ‘It’s extremely worrying that not only did this happen to the first brother but that the two other brothers were able to be influenced in such a way.’

A prominent member of the Muslim community, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We can’t sympathise with or accept anyone guilty of these kind of things.

‘I have spoken to many youngsters, we have regular meetings with women, boys, girls and everybody has zero tolerance. There’s no sympathy.’

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Humphrey, head of South East Counter-Terrorism Unit, which led the investigation, added: ‘At no point did Shahensha or Jaman plan to attack the UK, however due to the intention of travelling to Syria and the potential of radicalisation taking place, we needed to intervene.’

Portsmouth district commander Superintendent Will Schofield said specialist officers are working with people vulnerable to radicalisation.

He said: ‘Our aim is to support those who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and to help prevent people from travelling overseas to become involved in conflict and terrorist activity.’