Islamic State used British companies operating out of an office in Cardiff, Wales, to ship equipment to Spain and finance terror plots against the West, according to United States intelligence files.
The FBI documents, seen by The Sunday Times, state that surveillance technology believed to be linked to the development of ‘weaponised drones’ capable of identifying “target locations”, “bug sweep units”, and software to launch rockets were dispatched to Spain in 2015.
Another Welsh firm was used to transfer thousands of pounds in cash to an Islamist extremist in Maryland. Mohamed Elshinawy (above, right), originally from Egypt, was charged in 2015 with soliciting funds from Islamic State operatives and plotting a terrorist attack in the United States. Elshinawy pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges on Tuesday.
The firms were set up by “Peter Soren”, believed to be an alias for Siful Sujan (above, left), the IT specialist turned hacker for Islamic State who left Wales three years ago with his family to join the terror group in Syria. He was later killed by a U.S. drone strike in Raqqa.
Sujan was a Bangladeshi national who came to the UK in 2003 to study. His wife followed him two years later.
After Sujan headed to Syria, the FBI and British anti-terrorist police investigated his companies. The newspaper reports that the documents show the lengths to which Sujan and his associates went to cover their activities, arguing that Muslims were in a “security war” with “the kuffar” (non-believers).
U.S. court documents name Sujan and his wife Shayma Akter as “co-conspirators” or “facilitators”. Other directors allegedly linked to the companies include Sujan’s older brother Ataul Haque and Haque’s Spanish-born Muslim convert wife Ana Gonzalez.
Haque and his wife, who both live in Spain, deny any involvement and told The Sunday Times that he trusted his brother “110 per cent” and never questioned his instructions. He claims he had no knowledge of who collected the equipment in Madrid or what it was intended to be used for.
Describing Islamic State as a “twisted ideology”, Haque said he would be willing to cooperate with intelligence agencies and law enforcement.