BREAKING NEWS: Manchester jihadist jailed for 10 years

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A JIHADI from Manchester whose group has been linked to the Arena bomber has been jailed for 10 years for being a member of Islamic State.

Mohammed Abdallah, 26, went to Syria with help from his wheelchair-bound brother Abdalraouf, 24, who set up a “hub” of communication for would-be fighters from his home in Manchester.

His brother had connections with the Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi, who apparently visited him in prison just weeks before he detonated the bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

After the Old Bailey trial, Abdallah, from Westerling Way, Moss Side, Manchester, was found guilty of possessing an AK47 gun, receiving £2,000 for terrorism and membership of IS.

Mrs Justice McGowan said that Abdallah has “bragged” in messages about acquiring weapons and that he was “totally committed” to joining the IS. The judge jailed Abdallah for five years on extended licence.

The judge told him: “There is no evidence of possession of extremist propaganda material. The evidence of your mindset is to be found in your actions.

“Your commitment to violence abroad is clear and you have not shown any sign of changing your views or attitudes.

“I do accept to some extent you acted under the influence of your brother.”

The court heard that the Abdallah brothers, who had dual Libyan nationality, have joined the “Tripoli Brigade” back in 2011. Following a bloody battle against the Gaddafi regime, Abdalraouf was shot and paralysed from the waist down.

In the summer of 2014, Abdallah headed to Syria via Libya with fellow Libyan Nezar Khalifa, 27, planning to join IS with former RAF serviceman Stephen Gray, 34, and Raymond Matimba, 28, who were also from Manchester.

In 2016, Sky News received files from an IS defector that have listed Abdallah as a specialist sniper with expertise with a Russian heavy machine gun, “Dushka”, and fighting experience in Libya.

However, during the trial, Abdallah denied swearing allegiance, saying he only went to Syria to help deliver 5,000 dollars to the poor and someone else must have filled out the form without his knowledge.

He said: “It’s true I refused to swear allegiance. They did send me to prison.

“I was threatened with being beheaded.

“I was shot at. I was hit. I had bruises and a black eye.”

Abdalraouf Abdallah was found guilty in 2016 of assisting others in committing acts of terrorism, and terror funding and jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Gray, of Whitnall Street in Manchester, has admitted three terrorism offences, which include attempts to travel to Syria. Following this, he has been jailed for five years.

Hostey, a Mancunian fellow – described as ”inspirational figure” for would-be jihadis, left the UK in 2013 and is believed to have been killed in a drone strike in 2016.

Now, it can be reported that Abdallah’s trial has been delayed in the wake of the attack on the Manchester Arena over reported links with Abedi, who attended the same mosque as the brothers and Hostey.

The Greater Manchester Police refused to confirm if there is any connection between Abedi and the Abdallah brothers – all born to Libyan parents. However, in the months leading up to the attack, the suicide bomber is reported to have visited Abdalraouf in HMP Altcourse in Liverpool.

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