Three men found guilty of helping Cardiff teen join ISIS

Three men are facing jail for helping a teenager from Cardiff follow his older brother to Syria to join ISIS.

Kristen Brekke, from Grangetown in Cardiff, was found guilty of assisting in the preparation of an act of terrorism, along with Adeel Ulhaq and Forhad Rahman, for helping Aseel Muthana travel to Syria.

Muthana was 17 when he left his home in February 2014 to join his brother Nasser in the ranks of so-called Islamic State.

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Aseel Muthana travelled to Syria to join his brother in ISIS in 2014.

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC had told jurors that all three defendants shared the same "highly-radical ideology" and support for waging war in Syria.

All three defendants played different roles in their mission to help Muthana achieve his goal to reach Syria and all but Brekke expressed a desire to follow suit, the court heard.

Rahman was key in funding Muthana's trip, Ulhaq had good contacts in Syria and gave practical advice while Brekke helped purchase kit and let the teenager use his computer.

Muslim convert Brekke, 20, had been good friends with Muthana since they worked together at an ice cream parlour in Cardiff.

The prosecution said he was well aware of his aim, and cited the evidence of a home-made video of the pair posing with an imitation gun on Asda Hill above Cardiff.

Brekke, who did not know his co-defendants before, gave a variety of explanations for his stash of gear, including claims they were impulse buys and he was preparing for a camping trip to the Brecon Beacons.

Muthana became fast friends with Rahman online and sent him the video clip from Asda Hill in which he proclaimed: "If you are watching this, I'm probably dead or I'm probably a legend or something."

The pair met up in London, where Rahman was working for Addison Lee, and exchanged affectionate messages referring to each other as "cutie", "honey" and "babe", a court heard.

He knew at the time he helped Muthana that it was dangerous in Syria as two months before, his acquaintance Iftekhar Jaman was killed in battle.

In his defence, Rahman, 21, from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, admitted allowing the teenager to use his credit card but insisted he thought he was going to Syria to "help people" by joining a local militia. He said: "When we discussed this, Isis was not the plan".

Rahman introduced his young friend to Ulhaq who gave practical help online and called on his contacts within Syria to smooth his entry into the country. However, Ulhaq never met Muthana in person.

Brekke, of Pentre Street, Grangetown, Cardiff; Rahman, of Cranhams Lane, Chesterton, Cirencester, Gloucestershire; and Ulhaq, of Westbourne Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, were found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism. Ulhaq was further convicted of terror funding.