UK Student Tells Court Money He Sent His Fighting Brother in Syria Was for Nose Job

Published August 14th, 2018 - 07:00 GMT
(Shutterstock/File Photo)
(Shutterstock/File Photo)

 A dental student who sent hundreds of pounds to his brother while he was fighting in Syria has told a court he believed it was for a nose job.

Abdurahman Kaabar, 23, admitted sending £500 ($637) to his younger brother but said he was suffering from 'social anxiety' and wanted to get a 'nasal' operation.

Giving evidence in his defence at Sheffield Crown Court, Abdurahman also said he was confident that was the only use for the money, because his brother already had all the 'equipment' he needed from 'the group'.

Abdurahman said it was clear his brother was fighting in Syria but added: 'All the equipment that was needed to be on the battleground, clothing and weapons was provided to him by the group he was representing.

'Every time he would mention the sending of some money it was all to do with medicinal purposes.



'The first time I was enthusiastic I thought you know what he needs the money for his nasal operation because he had needed it when he left.'

Abdurahman said his younger brother Mohammed suffered from 'eczema, asthma and some respiratory nasal issues as well'.

Mohammed had received treatment in Britain but the issues were 'on-going' after his departure for Syria with a friend in March 2016.

The pair discussed it, using the Telegram app to make an encrypted phone call, his brother claimed.

Abdurahman said: 'He said he would like to book an appointment with a consultant and a surgeon and see if he should get surgery or not and the cost of the appointment would be about £500 ($637).'

He also said his brother 'could carry on as normal' but the issue 'caused him some social anxiety'.

'He mentioned that he was looking for a consultation with the doctor and after that they would decide whether to do surgery or not and that could be quite some time because there were more urgent cases,' Abdurahman added.

The money, Abdurahman maintained, was for 'medicinal and pharmaceutical purposes only' adding: 'As far as I was concerned it was for the nasal operation and no other purpose.'

When he was asked for more money he thought it would be spent on 'medicinal equipment in terms of creams...before and post operation.'

'I knew it was getting cold and obviously he was talking about clothes. But in terms of his nose, he can get flu and colds very easily,' Abdurahman added.

He said he had 'not an inkling or shadow of a doubt that the money that was sent was for medicinal purposes'.

'He is my brother and family first and foremost and no matter what happens in terms of family you never turn your back on family and you always do your best to help them,' he added.

Mohammed Kabaar, 22, had travelled out to Syria in March 2016 with a friend from Sheffield called Ahmed Hadrami, 22.

The prosecution alleged that communications suggested he had joined either Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaeda, or Jaysh al-Fatah, an umbrella group that included the al-Qaeda affiliate.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Mohammed Kaabar posted footage of a battle in which he had been involved on Snapchat in August 2016.

It showed him coming under fire in a car, footage of explosions and burning buildings and footage of him launching an attack and was described as 'Looking like no man's land'.

But Abdurahman encouraged him: 'You are there now, its calm. Gotta ride it till dat end. No coming back. Walk the walk.'

Mohammed first pleaded for money in October 2016, adding: 'Please be hasty. Winter is coming soon. I need some equipment.'

His brother replied, 'understood. I'll do my best', and eventually managed to pass a friend, Badroddin Kazkaz, £500 ($637) in cash in a Tesco car park, which was then apparently transferred using Western Union.

The following June he asked for more money, saying: 'I need to buy some gear. Have nasal operation and cover living expenses.'

Mohammed asked his brother to ask their father, but his reply said: 'He said you have to adapt to the environment. You are in the motherland of war.

'People die of hunger and thirst. You have to prepare yourself that you may not be able to eat some days. That is the life you have chosen.'

He also said: 'This ain't a holiday.'

Abdurahman told him that he could only 'do' £100 ($127) to £150 ($191) but Mohammed pleaded that he needed money urgently and wanted around $500 'to keep me going for the next couple of months', adding: 'Winter coming soon. Try to convince dad/mum. The route is secure just like the last time nothing to worry about.'

He was arrested at the family home in Sheffield the next day. He has already pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing records useful for terrorism and 12 offences of disseminating terrorist publications.

Abdurahman denies supplying money for terrorism, and the case continues.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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