Portsmouth brothers face retrial over terror charges

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THE jury has been discharged in a trial of two brothers accused of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorism.

Tuhin Shahensha, 27, and Mustakim Jaman, 23, from Southsea, are brothers of a man who died while fighting in Syria.

They were accused at Kingston Crown Court, in south west London, of being part of a group of extremists who came from Portsmouth and supported the use of serious violence to create an Islamic state.

The jury was unable to reach verdicts and the Crown has indicated its wish to proceed with a retrial.

The men’s brother, Ifthekar Jaman – who is younger than Shahensha, but older than Jaman – travelled in May 2013 to Syria, where he fought and was eventually killed.

The court heard that Ifthekar, before fleeing to the war-torn nation, made a string of Twitter posts, encouraging others to pray for mujahideens in Syria.

Referring to tweets Ifthekar Jaman sent before travelling to Syria, prosecutor Gareth Patterson said during the trial: ‘The prosecution say it must have been obvious to anyone who looked at Ifthekar’s Twitter account that he was focusing on Syria and supported mujahideens and groups like JAN operating within Syria and was making references to those willing to suffer death and, as some saw it, martyrdom.’

One post voiced admiration for the mujahideen, who reach ‘life through death’, jurors were told.

He also tweeted asking about possible ways to travel to Syria, eventually leaving from Gatwick airport on May 14, and travelling to Turkey before crossing the border.

But when questioned by police about their brother, both defendants claimed they did not know that he had travelled to Syria.

Ifthekar Jaman continued to post on Twitter after leaving the UK, often joking and using sarcasm.

Shahensha, of Hudson Road in Southsea, was accused of two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorism, between March 2013 and October 2014.

Jaman, of the same address, faced one count of the same charge.

One of the charges Shahensha faced alleged that he provided others with assistance, intending by his conduct to assist others to commit acts of terrorism.

The other stated his conduct gave effect to his intention to commit acts of terrorism, the conduct being that he made purchases of equipment and clothing and obtained relevant information about himself travelling into Syria.