11 August 2021

Cousin of ‘terror twins’ refused parole after concerns over prison behaviour

11 August 2021

A convicted terrorist who acted as a “linchpin” for a group of friends who travelled to Syria to fight for so-called Islamic State has been refused parole following “behavioural concerns”.

Abdullahi Jama Farah 25, from Fallowfield, Manchester, created a “hub of communication” for his “Mandem” group of like-minded extremists while studying for his A-levels.

Jama Farah, who is Danish and of Somali origin, was convicted of preparing for terrorism acts between 2013 and 2014 when he assisted Nur Hassan, from Moss Side, Manchester, by facilitating his travel to Syria and communication with others.

He was also in contact with close friends Raphael Hostey, 22 – reportedly an associate of Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi – Mohammed Javeed, 24, and Khalil Raoufi, 20, who left north-west England to Syria in October 2013. They all later died.

Raphael Hostey, Ahmed Halane and Khalil Raoufi in a study group held by Halane in Manchester (GMP/PA) (PA Media)

Jama Farah is the cousin of Zahra and Salma Halane – dubbed the “terror twins” – who at the age of 16 left their home in Chorlton, Manchester, in June 2014 for Syria and went on to marry IS fighters.

Their elder brother Ahmed Halane went to Somalia in September 2013, where he is suspected to have joined the terrorist group Al-Shabaab.

Last week the Parole Board held its first review of his case since he was sentenced in August 2016 to seven years in detention with an extended licence period of three years.

The panel considered a dossier prepared by officials for the Secretary of State for Justice regarding his progress and conduct in custody.

Khalil Raoufi who was killed in combat in Syria in February 2014 (GMP/PA) (PA Media)

It noted he had taken part in an intervention addressing the underlying causes of extremist offending and ways of disengaging, and had also worked with the prison imam to help develop his understanding of his faith.

But the panel report added: “Reports of this work had been positive, however, prior to the listed oral hearing behavioural concerns had emerged in the prison. Reports within the dossier did not support Mr Jama-Farah’s release.”

The panel went on to examine the release plan provided by his probation officer and was not persuaded there would be effective risk management overseas if, as expected, he was deported.

It ruled an alternative plan to remain in the UK with residence conditions and strict limitations on his contacts, movements and activities was “not robust enough” due to the concerns raised about his behaviour in custody.

Ahmed Halane is last reported to be living in Denmark (GMP/PA) (PA Media)

In conclusion, the panel stated: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Jama-Farah was suitable for release.”

Jama Farah is due to be automatically released in July 2022 unless a future parole board review deems him suitable for parole before then.

Jurors at his Old Bailey trial were told it was clear Jama Farah supported IS from what was found on his computers, as well as messages on WhatsApp and social media.

He denied wrongdoing and was cast by his defence as an over-excited teenager sitting in his bedroom at home on his computer in contact with his friends and passing on phone numbers, concerned for their welfare.

Following his conviction, police said Jama Farah was a “key part” of the communication between his group of friends who had gone abroad and regularly provided them with new contact details and updates on each others to help them evade the authorities.

Last August, it was reported the Halane twins were being held in a high-security detention centre in Syria after trying to escape a refugee camp. The sisters told ITV News they wanted to be repatriated to Denmark, the country of their birth, while their mother told The Daily Telegraph her daughters had been banned from returning to the UK.

Their elder brother Ahmed was last reported to be in Denmark and is subject to an exclusion order from Britain.

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