|Ealing Terrorist's Wife Sentenced|
Ayan Hadi was aware of husband's plans to carry out attacks in UK and abroad
A woman from Ealing has been given a 12 month suspended sentence after being found guilty of withholding evidence in the police investigation of the terrorist activities of her husband.
Ayan Hadi, aged 31, from Broadway, West Ealing, was sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years, a two year supervision order and a 10 year notification order. She is the wife of Muslim convert Richard Dart, who was jailed in April this year along with two other men for preparing acts of terrorism.
Dart, aged 30 , from Ealing, Jahangir Alom, 27, from Stratford, and Imran Mahmood, 23, from Northolt, were jailed for a total of more than 20 years at the Old Bailey after the Met Police's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) uncovered secret conversations about their plans to carry out terrorist attacks during a joint investigation with the Security Service (MI5).
The court heard how Dart and Ayan Hadi had an Islamic ceremony of marriage on 24 September 2011 and had lived together in a flat in Broadway, West Ealing.
During the autumn of 2011, Dart and Alom were making plans to travel to Pakistan for terrorist training and had expressed a desire to carry out acts of terrorism both in the UK and abroad. Mahmood had already received terrorist training in Pakistan and offered advice to the two other men on how to make contact with the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
On 11 November Dart and Alom were detained at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 Port and Border Controls of the Terrorism Act 2000 en route to Pakistan. Both men were subsequently released.
The laptop was forensically examined and detectives discovered that Dart had used it to conduct "silent conversations", using a Microsoft Word document with Mahmood on 4 November 2011 and separately with his wife Ayan Hadi on 8 and 9 November.
Sitting side by side in Dart's flat, they took turns to type their comments on the Word document. When they reached the end of their conversation they deleted the text, believing their conversation would then be undetectable. However, detectives, working with a computer expert, were able to recover data and reconstruct the words typed by the defendants.
Dart and Mahmood discussed not just terrorist operations in Pakistan but also the possibility of carrying out terrorist attacks in the UK during their "silent conversation".
The court heard how Dart and Hadi had used the same method to discuss his plans to travel to Pakistan and how the couple would stay in touch while he was away without drawing the attention of the authorities.
Mark Topping prosecuting said these "silent conversations" on the Word document demonstrated that Hadi knew of her husband's travel plans and terrorist intentions.
During the exchange, Dart suggested his wife created an email address under a different name and told her he would do the same. He also advised her to subscribe to many YouTube channels, avoiding those that might appear too 'jihadi'.
He suggested they write like they were "pen pals", allowing her to share information with him, including whether she was pregnant or not. He warned her that he wouldn't be able to give any detail about himself, but said the fact that he was writing would mean that he was sending his love to her and the family.
Dart indicated that he might remain in Pakistan for some time - not just for terrorist training but also to put that training to use. He told his wife to invent a story to explain his absence and to give the impression that she didn't know of his true intentions.
At another point in the silent conversation, Dart told her: "Write as though it could be from anyone because if I get caught and they find it you could get done for supporting terrorism, you get me?"
During the exchange, Hadi reassured her husband: "Ok inshALLAH I don't expect anything, any contact is better than none.... Please do not endanger yourself trying to do something to put my mind at ease."
She stated that she thought it would be "much more dangerous passing messages through people" than messaging online, and promised to use internet cafes when sending and replying to his messages.
Investigations revealed that an email address Islam4TheFuture@gmail.com was created on 9 November 2011 and a YouTube account with the same name was created two minutes later from an internet café on Uxbridge Road, half a mile away from their flat. An envelope with 'firstname.lastname@example.org' was found at their home in handwriting that matched Hadi's.
As the contents of the computer's memory were being examined, covert inquiries were also being conducted into the men over the following months, and on 5 July 2012, Counter Terrorism officers arrested Dart, Alom, Mahmood and Hadi.
On 18 July 2012, Dart, Alom and Mahmood were each charged with an offence contrary to Section 5 (1) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Hadi was subsequently charged on 27 July 2012 with failing to provide information that might assist with the arrest, prosecution or conviction of Dart.
Following the sentence, Commander Richard Walton, the head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), said: "Ayan Hadi was aware of her husband's plans and aspirations to travel to Pakistan for terrorism and she was prepared to conceal his activities from the attention of the authorities.
"She had detailed conversations with Dart, using an unusual counter-surveillance method of communicating, which ultimately failed to avoid detection.
"The law is clear - if you conceal a terrorist, you commit a terrorist act."
August 17, 2013