Two found guilty on terror funding charges after using aid convoy to send cash to Syria

Syed Hoque (left) and Mashoud Miah (right) were convicted of funding terrotism Credit: North East CTU

Two men, one of them the uncle of a jihadi fighter, have been found guilty of funding terrorism after they used a Syria-bound aid convoy to smuggle cash to fighters.

Syed Hoque faces jail after he was found guilty of two charges of funding terrorism, while his "fixer", Mashoud Miah, was convicted on one count by a majority.

The aid convoys had been unwittingly used in the scheme, the Old Bailey heard, but the case raises the question of whether the convoys have the capacity to uncover abuses.

The court heard how former probation officer Hoque sent £4,500 to his nephew who was fighting with an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria.

In incriminating WhatsApp exchanges, Hoque's nephew, Mohammed Choudhury, 26, begged for money to buy a Dragunov sniper rifle.

Hoque was put in touch with gas engineer Miah, who travelled to and from Syria with aid convoys in 2012 and 2013.

Miah, who was convicted of helping Hoque get £1,500 to Syria, was cleared of a further charge over an alleged plot to create a "night team" in Syria.

Giving evidence, Hoque admitted sending money to his nephew via Miah because he was fighting "in defence of those who cannot defend themselves".

But he denied knowing his nephew was with an al Qaeda-linked group.

Miah told jurors the Syrian people needed help and "had every right to be defended".

Aid worker Alan Henning was kidnapped by so-called Islamic State militants in 2013 Credit: ITV News/Henning family

Two co-defendants - Pervez Rafiq, 46, and Mohammed Hussain, 30 - were cleared of involvement in the scheme.

Mr Rafiq, an aid worker, counted among his friends and colleagues Alan Henning, the aid worker who was kidnapped by so-called Islamic State militants in 2013 and later murdered by Jihadi John.

In court Mr Rafiq said he had not been back to Syria since December 2013 because of threats against him by IS and other extremists over Mr Henning.

The aid worker was also wooed by MI5 and raised £200,000 for charity, jurors were told.

The court heard that MI5 had offered Mr Rafiq £30,000 to do work for the secret services and that he had always co-operated with authorities who searched convoys on their way out and stopped him on the way back to the UK.