Terror funding accused Syed Hoque admits sending cash to nephew in Syria

A former probation worker has admitted sending money to a nephew fighting in Syria, but denied he knew he was with Al-Qaeda.

Syed Hoque, 37, said he gave £3,000 to co-defendant, Mashoud Miah, who was an aid worker travelling in the country.

His nephew Mohammed Choudhury told him he had been "on operations", but never said who with, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Hoque, from Stoke-on-Trent denies funding terrorism through aid convoys along with three other men.

He told jurors that Mr Choudhury had told him he was in Syria for "humanitarian" reasons which he thought was a "good thing" because he had spoken about the violent Assad regime, including children being killed in front of parents.

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He said he later learned his nephew was fighting in Syria "in defence of those who cannot defend themselves", but he denied being aware of any connection with Jabhat al-Nusra, a terrorist organisation representing Al-Qaeda in the country.

The court heard Mr Choudhury allegedly appealed to him for money, claiming he was not earning anything and did not have a gun if he was ambushed,

Following a conversation with his nephew via Skype, Mr Hoque said he gave Mr Miah the cash to take on a convoy trip and to give to his nephew.

He said he believed Mr Miah was "a full-time aid relief worker going in and out of Syria" who knew Mr Choudhury.

The court heard that Mr Hoque also arranged to go on a different aid convoy involving about 200 people, including his co-accused Mr Miah.

Mr Miah, 27, of east London, Mohammed Hussain, 30, of east London, Pervez Rafiq, 46, of Birkby, Huddersfield, and Mr Hoque deny the charges against them.

The trial continues.

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