Two more suspects have appeared in court in connection with the “bank of terror” plot to con vulnerable pensioners out of their money in order to fund Islamic State.
Fahim Islam, 20, and Achmed Ahmed, 22, have been remanded in custody after appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed to Breitbart London that the men were charged as part of the ongoing investigation, making them the 11th and 12th suspects in the case.
Last month, the first five suspects appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court, accused of conning pensioners as old as 96 out of more than £160,000. They then allegedly used the money to help fund terrorists fighting in Iraq and Syria.
Makhzumi Abukar, 23, Sakaria Aden, 21, Mohamed Dahir, 22, and Yasser Abukar, 23, who are all from North London, and Ibrahim Anderson, 38, from Luton, were all charged.
Speaking at the time, prosecutor Edward Aydin called the group a “sophisticated criminal network” and “a threat to national security”.
“These people before you, they are the bank of terror. They are not small fry, they are deadly and dangerous.”
The suspects allegedly scammed their victims using a technique called “vishing” where they would cold-call elderly pensioners while posing as policemen, telling them they were victims of fraud. They would then ask them to call the emergency services, but when the victims hung up, one of suspects allegedly used a device to keep the line open.
When the pensioners called the emergency services they were actually still connected to the fraudsters, who told them to hand over their bank details.
Mr Aydin said: “It is believed that the proceeds are being used to fund and facilitate the travel of UK nationals to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State. These funds are used to buy weapons and bullets.
“Due to the nature of the offending, the victims are generally elderly and vulnerable. Many have impairments to sight, vision and/or mobility.”
One victim, 73-year-old woman from Cornwall who was conned out of £130,000, developed serious pneumonia after realising she had been scammed. Other victims included a 94- and 96-year-old couple from Kent, an 89-year-old from Bedfordshire and an 84-year-old from Cornwall.