Men gave money to Brussels bombing suspect to assist terrorism, jury told

Updated: 

There is "no doubt" a Birmingham man accused of giving money to Brussels bombing suspect Mohamed Abrini intended to assist an act of terrorism, a court has heard. 

Prosecutors allege Zakaria Boufassil, 26, together with Mohammed Ali Ahmed, "supplied a quantity of sterling currency" to Abrini between June 1, 2014, and April 16, 2016, with the intention of committing or assisting another to commit acts of terrorism. 

Abrini, who is of Moroccan heritage, became known as "the man in the hat" following his suspected involvement in the Brussels terror attack in March, the jury at Kingston Crown Court in south west London heard. 

The pair, from Birmingham, are accused of handing over £3,000 in cash to Abrini between July 9 and July 16, 2015, when he travelled to the Midlands from abroad. 

Prosecutor Max Hill QC told jurors Ahmed had pleaded guilty to the same charge on November 8 and said this would become relevant to them when determining if the case against Boufassil had been established.

He told the court: "There is no doubt that the money was handed over with the intention of assisting acts of terrorism." 

After telling jurors Boufassil denied sharing Ahmed's intention, Mr Hill said: "We suggest he was clearly acting together with Ahmed when the money was handed to Abrini.

"We suggest that Mr Boufassil committed this offence together with Ahmed, and he is as guilty as his co-defendant Ahmed.

"That will be for you to decide when you've heard all of the evidence."

Mr Hill said Abrini was also wanted by the French authorities over his "suspected involvement" in the Paris attacks of November 2015.

The 31-year-old Belgian citizen's brother had been killed fighting for the so-called Islamic State in Syria, he added.