Birmingham men deny giving money to terror suspect

Court sketch of (l-r) Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Zakaria Boufassil and Soumaya Boufassil Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption Mohammed Ali Ahmed (L), Zakaria Boufassil and Soumaya Boufassil in court at previous hearings

Two men have denied giving money to a man suspected of being involved in the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil allegedly met Mohamed Abrini - known as the "man in the hat" - in Small Heath Park in Birmingham in July last year and handed over £3,000.

They appeared at the Old Bailey with Soumaya Boufassil, who denied collecting cash for terrorist purposes.

The trio, all from Birmingham, will stand trial in November.

They all deny the preparation of terrorist acts between June 1 2014 and April 16 2016.

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Mr Ahmed, 27, is accused of participating in physical training, while 30-year-old Soumaya Boufassil is said to have researched and discussed life as a member of the so-called Islamic State.

Along with Ahmed, she allegedly researched and planned "secure methods by which to travel undetected overseas".

They also accrued cash funds to finance their travel, according to the charge.

Mr Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil also allegedly "supplied a quantity of sterling currency to Abrini contrary to Section 51 of the Terrorism Act 2006".

Mr Abrini, a 31-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin, is in custody in Belgium and is being held in connection with an attack in Brussels in March. He is also wanted in connection with the November attacks in Paris.

The two male defendants appeared in court via video-link from Wandsworth Prison and Ms Boufassil appeared in custody from Bronzefield jail.

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