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Garston man who helped terrorist is jailed

 Published on: 20th October 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A taxi driver from Garston who admitted assisting a terrorist appeared has begun a 21 month prison sentence. Tahir Bhatti, 45, of Clarke Way, admitted helping his cousin Imran Khawaja, 27, by helping him to return to the UK after his terrorist training. He was jailed at the end of last week. Khawaja received firearms training at a base run by associates of British Jihadis affiliated to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. He was reported as being killed in action on June 3 last year but, on the same day, he was arrested by specialist counter terrorism officers at Dover along with Bhatti. Khawaja admitted four charges: preparation of terrorist acts, attendance at a place used for terrorist training, receiving weapons training and possession of a firearm for terrorist purposes. Bhatti, a father-of-seven who runs a mini-cab company, was alleged to have helped Khawaja by agreeing to provide a replacement phone, funding the purchase of a Kalashnikov assault rifle, using coded messages and helping him avoid arrest by hiring a car to pick him up from Sofia in Bulgaria. Pictures of Khawaja posing with guns and tanks were found on Bhatti’s mobile phone, the court heard. The pair communicated through a simple code via text message and Whatsapp. A third suspect Asim Ali, 33, also admitted entering into a funding arrangement for the purposes of terrorism by giving £300 to Khawaja between January and June 2014. Khawaja was jailed for 12 years while Ali was also locked up for 21 months for funding terrorism. Picture courtesy of Hoss Photography

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