Last updated: 25 January, 2013

Man charged in UK over journalists’ Syria kidnap

A 31-year-old man appeared in a British court on Friday charged with providing financial support and supplies to his brother and another man who face trial for kidnapping two Western journalists in Syria.

Najul Islam, from east London, has been charged with assisting his brother Shajul Islam, a British trainee doctor, Jubayer Chowdhury and others to engage in acts of terrorism, police said in a statement.

The statement alleges that between January 1, 2012 and January 11, 2013, Najul Islam paid for his brother’s travel to Syria, “knowing that he would be engaging or be prepared to engage in acts of terrorism in Syria”.

It says he paid for supplies for the kidnappers, including night vision goggles, air rifle optic mounts and medical equipment, which he delivered himself by driving from Britain to Turkey. He also gave them his vehicle.

Najul Islam is also accused of sending money abroad to his brother, again in the full knowledge of what he was doing in Syria.

The charge sheet said he is also accused of “financing the travel arrangements for Jubayer Chowdhury to leave Syria after the release of the journalists and fly to Bangladesh, knowing that Jubayer would have been engaging or prepared to engage in acts of terrorism in Syria”.

Najul Islam was first arrested on January 10, and then re-arrested on Thursday. At a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Friday, he was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey court on January 28.

Shajul Islam and Jubayer Chowdhury are due to stand trial in Britain in June on charges of imprisoning a British photographer and a Dutch journalist against their will last July while they were covering the Syrian conflict.