An illegal Iraqi Kurd has appeared in court, charged with supplying over 400 mobile phone SIM cards to jihadists in Iraq and Syria to set up social media accounts.
In a first of its kind case, Rabar Mala, 32, allegedly provided 437 cards and phone numbers to Islamic State so they could have an online platform to disseminate propaganda, Court News reports.
Mala is an “illegal overstayer” whose application for leave to remain in the UK was turned down in 2008.
On Friday, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard allegations that for more than a year the IT specialist activated the cards in Britain and passed them onto jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
Prosecutor Kathryn Selby said: “This defendant is charged with an offence that has never been charged in this jurisdiction previously.”
She detailed that terrorism officers found the stash when they went to his home address, executing a warrant in late August.
Not enough resources to track them https://t.co/BbovFsXjcs
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 6, 2017
“[The SIM cards were activated in the UK and] were then passed to individuals based in Iraq and Syria to enable them to set up accounts on social media to enable them to publish material said to be supportive of IS, or Daesh,” Ms. Selby continued.
He was remanded in custody to next appear at the Old Bailey on 21 September.
In May, Breitbart London reported that British security services have identified 350 Islamic State militants who have returned to the UK from Syria and who pose a potential terror threat.
MI5 has said 850 people have travelled from the UK to Islamic State-controlled parts of Syria. Whilst some that have returned are designated as ‘disillusioned with extremism’ and allegedly pose no danger, a large number subscribe to Islamist ideology and are trained to handle firearms and explosives.
In the same month, Government sources confessed there are at least 23,000 jihadists in Britain – more than seven times higher than previously revealed.