Not a terrorist – just ‘silly and immature’
Wife of accused dismisses knife and encrypted texts
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.