Chesterfield terror suspect allegedly sent money to IS fighter, court hears

Andy Star.
Andy Star.

A Chesterfield terror suspect is alleged to have sent money to an IS fighter in Turkey, a court heard.

Andy Star, 32, the former owner of the Mermaid Fish Bar on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield, and Farhad Salah, 23, of Brunswick Road, Sheffield, are on trial at Sheffield Crown Court jointly charged with preparing an act of terrorism in support of Islamic State (IS).

Farhad Salah.

Farhad Salah.

Star denies the charge and claims he had an innocent interest in homemade fireworks.

Salah denies the charge and claims his Facebook account was hacked.

The alleged plot is believed to have involved an attack involving a driverless car bomb controlled by a laptop to spare themselves.
On Friday the court heard more about a transfer of $100 by Star to someone in Turkey on behalf of Salah, made at the Western Union bank in Sheffield.

"I do remember we did send some money to someone in Turkey," Star said in police interview.

Star told detectives that Salah had told him the money was for a family member - but the prosecution allege this was for someone with links to IS.

Star said that he had never sent money abroad before apart from to his mum and that was two years ago.

Star also said that the money belonged to Salah and that he did the transfer because Salah had no identification on him.

Later in the police interview Star was asked about the searches he made online relating to IS, rifles and a news agency linked to IS, to which he gave no comment.

Star also gave no comment when asked why he 'liked' IS content online.

Star said that he and Salah did not talk about IS or terrorism.

The court then heard more about Salah's use of social media.

The prosecution alleged that Salah created and posted a Jihad image on Facebook, 'liked' IS videos and pictures and was tagged in an IS video, as well as a number of other similar actions.

The prosecution claimed that analysis shows these actions took place at The Fatima Community Centre, on Brunswick Road, Sheffield - Salah's home address - but he says his Facebook account was hacked.

Christopher Whiteley, a digital investigator at North East Counter Terrorism Police, said he found no evidence to suggest that Salah's Facebook had been hacked or any evidence to suggest that Salah thought he had been hacked.

Mr Whiteley also said he found no evidence of Salah receiving any notifications or emails to suggest his Facebook account had been hacked.

Representing Salah, Sam Green QC, suggested that this may not have happened if notifications to receive such communications were turned off.

The trial continues.