An Iraqi brother and sister, who came to the country with their family as asylum seekers and were handed a council house in central London worth around £1.3 million, have both been charged with terror-related offences.
Ali Esayed, 19, was arrested on Wednesday morning on suspicion of a religiously-aggravated offence in a dawn raid on properties across West London which also saw the arrests of two un-named brothers, thought to have been plotting a Paris-style suicide attack in London.
Officials said the three are not ‘lone wolves’, but are thought to have joined forces after being inspired by Islamist materials online.
But now Breitbart London can reveal that Esayed’s older sister is Alaa Abdullah Esayed, 23, who in 2015 was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for encouraging terrorism and dissemination of terrorist materials, after she posted 45,600 tweets on the social media platform promoting Islamic terror, as well as numerous other posts on Instagram.
Some of the posts contained images of beheadings, while others glorified terror.
Judge Charles Wide, presiding over her case, said: “This material and its dissemination is an important factor in the encouragement of young men and women to travel abroad and engage in acts of terrorism. It is a matter of great and justified public concern. You were disseminating such material on a massive scale over a period of just short of a year.
“An indication of how busy you were in this activity is that on a site associated with al-Qaida your Twitter account was noted to be one of 66 important jihadi accounts…
“The material you were disseminating encouraged young men to go and fight and you now accept that was your intention and, furthermore, to encourage women to go to support them and indeed to bring up their children in the belief that it is their duty to take up arms to wage violent jihad and embrace martyrdom.”
Alaa Esayed is described by the Gatestone Institute as a “refugee from Iraq”, while a report in the Guardian published at the time of her sentencing detailed that she was brought up in Mosul, Iraq, and came to Britain in 2007 with her family when her father, who worked for the military, was forced to flee the country.
Court papers relating to her case note that she required a translator despite living in Britain for nearly a decade.
Her brother Ali was arrested at the family home, a three story terraced house in Kennington listed in the land registry as the property of Southwark council. Houses on the sought-after street are worth approximately £1.3 million; the British band Dexy’s Midnight Runners filmed the video for their hit song Come On Eileen in the property next door.
A mere mile away is Lambeth Palace, where the Bishop of Canterbury offered a cottage on the grounds to a Syrian family fleeing the violence of the civil war.
But the area is also rife with overcrowding, as British families crammed into tiny council flats, many of whom living in the area for years, fail to rise to the top of the council waiting list for larger properties.
Commenting on Alaa’s conviction, columnist Amanda Platell said that Alaa had “betrayed” Britain, musing: “Offered sanctuary, housing, free education and healthcare, [Alaa] and her family were at last being given an opportunity to thrive and prosper.
“In Iraq this young woman feared for her life and was treated like a second-class citizen. Here she was educated, protected and nurtured.
“And yet she still claimed: ‘I wish to be a martyr for the land of jihad and am happy to answer the one call and my Lord help me attain what I want, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.’”
Her brother too appears to have shunned the life offered to him in Britain. Neighbours told Breitbart London that the family kept to themselves, but that they’d hear an alarm clock during Ramadan calling the family to prayer.
Others told the Daily Mail that Ali grew a beard and started wearing Islamic clothing in recent years, adding “He used to dress like a normal teenager, but he just changed. They seemed like an all right family. They didn’t speak much English, but were friendly and always said hello.”