Not a ter­ror­ist – just ‘silly and im­ma­ture’

Wife of ac­cused dis­misses knife and en­crypted texts

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­

THE trial of a Hayes man ac­cused of plan­ning a Lee Rigby style be­head­ing has heard from his pri­mary school teacher wife.

Mharunisa Ejaz, told ju­rors at Wool­wich Crown Court last week that her hus­band, 28-year-old Haseeb Ha­may­oon, was just talk­ing ‘rub­bish’ to his friends rather than plot­ting a ter­ror­ist out­rage on Re­mem­brance Day last year, as al­leged.

Ha­may­oon of Tu­dor Road, Hayes, al­legedly stocked up on knives to em­u­late the mur­der of soldier Lee Rigby in the run up to last year’s Re­mem­brance com­mem­o­ra­tions with cousins Nadir Syed, 22, of Am­bas­sador Close, Houn­slow, and Yousaf Syed, 20 of High Wy­combe.

The court heard how the trio al­legedly plot­ted over en­crypted mes­sag­ing app Tele­gram, shar­ing bru­tal Is­lamic State pro­pa­ganda videos, mak­ing ‘sick jokes’, and swap­ping pic­tures of knives and knife sharp­en­ers.

Ha­may­oon used his wife’s bank card and PayPal ac­count to buy a Ram­bostyle hunt­ing knife and IS flag, it was claimed.

Ju­rors were shown images of Ha­may­oon proudly hold­ing aloft the flag, which is widely recog­nised as the sym­bol of Is­lamic State, as well him wear­ing a black jacket with the same im­agery on the back.

The court heard he sent an im­age of pop­pies to a fam­ily What­sApp group, which in­cluded his wife, with the phrase “Don’t feel sorry for dis­be­liev­ing peo­ple”.

But his wife, a teacher at Suf­fah Pri­mary School in Houn­slow, said she did not read the mes­sage adding: “I don’t al­ways read my mes­sages, some­times there are hun­dreds or thou­sands of mes­sages and I don’t waste my time read­ing them, I am a busy woman.”

Mrs Ejaz said the Ram­bostyle hunt­ing knife was kept un­der their bed at home, and told the court: “I don’t know why he bought it, I re­mem­ber my hus­band telling me that there had been a bur­glary in the area so maybe it was for pro­tec­tion.”

She con­tin­ued: “The mean­ing of the flag is that there is no god but Al­lah but un­for­tu­nately the rest of the world sees it as the Is­lamic State flag. It is called the Sha­hada flag and that is what he called it.”

Mrs Ejaz added that she ac­cepted that her hus­band had said ‘silly and im­ma­ture things’ but said they were a group of guys ‘talk­ing rub­bish’.

“There are 30 men in that group and only three of them are sit­ting here to­day. You are us­ing this group to paint a bad pic­ture of him, this does not paint a pic­ture of the re­al­ity of our lives,” she said.

It is said the de­fen­dants were in­spired by a fatwa is­sued through the me­dia cen­tre of IS.

They were ar­rested while al­legedly plot­ting an at­tack to em­u­late the fa­tal at­tack on Drum­mer Rigby in Wool­wich.

Ha­may­oon, Nadir Syed and Yousaf Syed each deny pre­par­ing an act of ter­ror­ism, con­trary to sec­tion five of the Ter­ror­ism Act 2006, be­tween Septem­ber 20 and Novem­ber 7 last year.

The trial con­tin­ues.

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