Huddersfield charity worker Pervez Rafiq has been cleared of being involved in using aid convoys to channel money and supplies to terrorists in Syria. Two other men, Syed Hoque and Mashoud Miah, were convicted of funding terrorism.
Mr Rafiq was involved in organising large-scale aid convoys to Syria over a number of years including the 2013 aid mission attended by Alan Henning, the taxi driver who was later kidnapped and murdered by Islamic State (IS) militants. After Mr Henning had been captured, Mr Rafiq made a public appeal asking for mercy from IS.
Mr Rafiq was cleared of the charges against him. During the trial, it became clear that he had spoken to MI5 whilst they were gathering intelligence on the infiltration of aid convoys and had been offered £30,000 to help them. Though he declined the offer of becoming a paid informant, Mr Rafiq had cooperated with the authorities and told them of the details of the aid he was transporting. His defence team described him as a “prolific fundraiser” who had delivered aid to Turkey on six different occasions and had raised £200,000 for Syria aid charities.
The case has been very widely reported, including by the BBC. It is the first case in which it was alleged that aid convoys have been exploited to funnel money to extremists but Mr Rafiq’s acquittal shows that the organisers of the convoys were not involved.