Skip to main content

tv   BBC Wales Investigates  BBC News  July 22, 2018 8:30pm-9:00pm BST

8:30 pm
the east and the to the east and the south the dry and bright the weather will be. the temperature will possibly exceed 30 celsius. the heat is on and i think we will have five consecutive days in london with the temperature around 30. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: the brexit secretary says a deal with the eu can be reached by october if brussels shows ambition, but dominic raab says the government is prepared for the possibility of no deal. hundreds of volunteers from syria's civil defence force, known as the white helmets, are rescued from a war zone in southern syria. they are safely in jordan. police want to speak to three men, following an acid attack on a three—year—old boy in worcester the police watchdog is investigating allegations of serious corruption and malpractice at the metropolitan police's own anti—corruption unit. now on bbc news —
8:31 pm
wyre davies reports on the case of a man from cardiff was at the centre of a terrorism network which sent money to isis supporters across the globe — in bbc wales investigates. he appeared to be a successful welsh entrepreneur. siful sujan was a hard—working, unassuming entrepreneur. an established part of the bangladeshi community in south wales, he'd studied here and set up his own businesses. he lived on this street near pontypridd 7 with his wife and their young son. he ran an it business, and was seemingly doing well. but what no one appeared to know in this south wales community that siful sujan supported the so—called
8:32 pm
islamic state. he helped develop weapons for isis and funding their terror plots. his influence was widespread 7 using the internet and money from his welsh company, he was able to communicate and conspire with is supporters across the world. american officials were so concerned by siful sujan 7 a man they d identified as a senior islamic state operative — they killed him in an air strike in syria at the end of 2015. sujan was an external operations planner who was educated as a computer systems engineer in the united kingdom. he supported isil‘s hacking efforts, their anti—surveillance technology and their weapons development. now that he's dead, isil has lost a key link between their networks. but that's not the end of the story.
8:33 pm
sujan's influence continues to be felt around the world. he's been linked to is militants and operations in bangladesh, spain and wales. sujan enrolled at the former glamorgan university in 2007 — to study for a degree in computer engineering. prior to that, it's believed he'd lived in london before putting down roots in the pontypridd area. the house was a three—bedroom town house with a garage. rob rees met him several times in 2005 after sujan said he wanted to buy his house in rhydyfelin. he eventually moved in in november that year.
8:34 pm
he explained that he met his wife at his brother's wedding, and two brothers married two sisters, and how much he was in love with his wife. and how much she loved the look of the house in the photograph and couldn't wait to come to the uk. how did he come across to you? was he quite friendly? he was — the sort of person you want to put your arm around and take underyourwing. that's what we did a little bit 7 my wife and myself. we felt sorry for him straight away. sujan's business enterprises appeared to take off. his brother, ataul haque, had also come to the uk and was also involved in helping to run his expanding business empire. he ran his first business, it company ibbacs ltd,
8:35 pm
from his home near pontypridd. he then moved to offices here in the roath area of cardiff. he became an accepted member of the bangladeshi community 7 and those who came across him thought he would go far. we don't know what turned siful sujan — a relatively quiet, but driven, businessman — into a supporter of the so—called islamic state. but several people who knew him have told us how he was profoundly affected by the death of his brother's first wife. we don't know if this was the trigger for his radicalisation. we may never know. after 11 years in the uk 7 and mostly in south wales 7 sujan left the country in 2014, but his welsh businesses remained. his brother, ataul haque, would end up in spain. sujan told people who knew him that he was going to bangladesh
8:36 pm
to set up a fabric business. after a brief time there it's believed he then travelled to turkey, before entering syria 7 and joining up with isis. his influence also spread to the eastern united states. one of sujan's companies, based in cardiff, was found to have sent money to a man living in the city of baltimore. baltimore newspaper deliveryman mohamed elshinawy lived here in a working—class suburb outside of baltimore. but unknown to him, by the summer of 2015 he was under surveillance by the fbi. when the fbi carried out a search warrant at elshinawy‘s home in baltimore in october 2015 7 they found evidence that
8:37 pm
would link him to sujan, and his welsh company. the fbi investigation found that sujan's welsh company was sending money to their man in america, mohamed elshinaway, to fund a terrorist attack in the states. it was relatively small quantities, $1,000, $500 here and there, transferred through moneyg ram, western union. terrorism academic seamus hughes has followed the case of elshinawy for more than a year. in total, the fbi says elshinawy was sent $7,700 dollars by sujan's welsh company. and, that not only was he being sent funds for a terrorist attack, he was being given step—by—step instructions by isis on how to carry it out. and so the first communication was,
8:38 pm
go kill an individual in texas. and when elshinawy was not able to get that all together, they said, 0k, why don't you transfer and focus your efforts on committing a large scale attack in baltimore. elshinawy discussed placing a bomb where it would kill a lot of people , and he researched federal buildings in baltimore, including this court building. it's believed siful sujan sent elshinawy at least 16 bomb—making videos, with a request that he make a peroxide bomb. this kind of bomb has been used repeatedly by terrorists. it's thought to have been used in last year's attack on the manchester arena, as well as terror atrocities in both paris and brussels. after an investigation lasting more than two years,
8:39 pm
and after admitting a number of terrorism charges, elshinawy was finally jailed for 20 years. judge ellen hollander said he had been "playing with a very sophisticated group of people". this is very unique. this is using shell companies. it's sending money across a number of different countries. it's the only known isis funded plot in the us. i think the fbi as they are building this case are unpeeling that onion and realising they have a really serious network here that i don't think we had a full understanding of when we first started. it was while executing a search warrant at elshinawy‘s home that fbi agents came across the link to siful sujan, and his welsh company. in a desk drawer they found a handwritten note. 0n the note were details of a moneygram transfer forjust over a £1,000. but it was the sender's name that led fbi investigators to wales. the person who had tried
8:40 pm
to send money to the states was a businessman from newport, abdul samad. he describes himself as a young entrepreneur, who also enjoys basketball and arabic studies. crucially, mr samad worked at a company run by siful sujan and his brother, ataul haque. 0n the same day in december 2015 that siful sujan was killed in an air strike, police in wales arrested abdul samad on suspicion of terrorism offences. his home here in newport was searched 7 along with the company offices in cardiff. during the court case in america, the fbi claims it found evidence that samad supported the so—called islamic state, and facilitated payments to isis supporter elshinawy in the usa. they also claim he was involved
8:41 pm
in organising the buying of equipment for isis. these papers outline samad's role in buying various pieces of equipment which the fbi alleges were destined for the islamic state. this includes parts which could be used in drones and also $18,000 of military—grade surveillance equipment. we wanted to see if there was evidence to back the fbi's claim that samad supported the ideology of the islamic state. on his facebook site 7 we found a number of posts which would appear to give credence to the claim that abdul samad supported islamic extremism. he shared this video — in which various speakers make the case for an islamic state. he also posted this video, which encourages muslims to become
8:42 pm
martyrs on the battlefield. and in this video there is a tribute to a high—ranking al qaeda member 7 who samad describes as a role model of the 21st century . the fbi also says that some of samad's computers, and other hard drives in the ibacs office, were found to contain a large quantity of islamic state and al qaeda propaganda. fifteen months after his arrest 7 counter—terrorism police told samad the threshold had not been met for him to be charged with any offences. he has denied any wrongdoing, or holding radical views, having any knowledge of a plot to fund attacks in the usa, and he claims to have only ordered legitimate equipment for the company. since then we have discovered that samad has had relatively recent links to ataul haque 7 who as well as being sujan's brother and business partner, would also
8:43 pm
become a terrorism suspect. just last september, samad set up a new company based in newport. it's called isynctel 7 the same name as a spanish company run by haque. and it's notjust the company name they share 7 the sole shareholders of the new welsh computer business are haque, and his wife. haque is now under investigation by the police in spain. i've come to merida, some 200 miles south west of madrid. it was here, last september, that detectives closed in on one of the last key players in the suspected terror network which spanned three continents. officers from the national police
8:44 pm
force's investigation unit made their move 7 arresting ataul haque after an 18—month operation. the police inspector investigating haque agreed to speak to me about the case for the first time 7 on condition of anonymity due to the nature of his work. haque had lived in south wales for a number of years 7 at the same time as his brother, siful sujan. but when sujan went to syria to join the so—called islamic state, haque ended up here with his spanish wife. neighbours i spoke to here
8:45 pm
remembered the large police operation last september 7 but very few people knew haque or his family, and they say haque hardly ever left his flat. the spanish police case against haque is that he effectively carried on his brother's terrorism network. using the new company isynctel, it's alleged haque continued to fund isis terrorists. spanish police say haque had also been following isis instructions on how to obtain and adapt drone equipment 7 a technique many fear could be used in domestic terrorist attacks. at the mercy of isis,
8:46 pm
there are 750,000 people still trapped inside mosul. i reported on the threat from drones last year, when they were being used by isis in iraq. even today 7 after the collapse of the so—called islamic state in iraq and syria 7 the threat from drones just like these, is very real. easily available to buy in shops and online, they can then be adapted. and the threat from the so—called islamic state continuing to use them is being taken seriously.
8:47 pm
we will see more use of drones by terrorists not because isis lost control of iraq or syria but because the technology is becoming more commonplace. peter singer is an american strategist, who's advised the us government on defence policy. isis took drones and applied them to three tasks. they used them for surveillance. the second thing is they linked it back to their propaganda campaigns. so, they would capture footage of themselves carrying out a suicide bomb, or something like that. thirdly, they began to weaponize these drones. initially, pretty crude weapons 7 small bombs. then they began to design them to be a little bit better and better. just last month, pro—is supporters released a video which promoted attacking the world cup in russia.
8:48 pm
the network set up by sujan appears to have left a lasting legacy, with his brother ataul haque being investigated for helping isis's drone programme. do you regard him as a highly dangerous individual7 haque is injail in madrid and is expected to be charged later this year. he denies any wrong—doing, or being involved in the terror network. 0n the same day haque was detained, police in bangladesh arrested 11 men
8:49 pm
suspected of having links to the same terrorism network. it's believed the dhaka—based cell could have been responsible for a number of terror attacks in the country. in bangladesh, the authorities are reluctant to talk about islamist terrorism, and the existence in the country of so—called islamic state. so i've come to sweden, to meet a bangladeshi journalist who's been reporting on the story of siful sujan for many years. after i was released i could not live in the country. tasneem khalil fled to malmo 11 years ago after he was tortured by the authorities in bangladesh, he says, after writing reports criticizing them. from exile, tasneem now writes extensively about terrorism in bangladesh.
8:50 pm
siful sujan was the architect, or one of the key architects, of the global money moving operation of isis. we are actually talking about big sums of money. in bangladesh, he was instrumental in setting up the first phase of isis‘ operations 7 which was recruitment of young men to the battle fields of syria. sujan was even accused of radicalising his children's private tutor. sujan actually converted him and recruited him into becoming an influentialfigure in isis in bangladesh. how manyjihadis did they recruit between them? a safe estimate would be at least 50. as well as recruiting jihadis 7 often through a page on facebook 7 cardiff businessman sujan was also suspected of funding terrorist operations in bangladesh to the tune
8:51 pm
of tens of thousands of pounds. there were several operations that were carried out 7 murders inside bangaldesh 7 that could have been funded by sujan's money7 yes, yes. there were a number of operations in the second half of 2015 which bangladeshi intelligence agencies believe were funded by sujan's money. money from the network established by sujan is also suspected of funding bangladesh's worst terrorist attack in recent years. injuly 2016, 2a people were killed when a cafe in dhaka was targeted by terrorists armed with bombs and guns. even after his death he remained influential. there is a very high likelihood that some of sujan's money was used in those attacks also.
8:52 pm
or, at least what was very clear is that the network he set up was being used for financing attacks even after his death. his main role was moving money which at times it sounds very boring but that is like the core of any jihadi—terrorist operation. and sujan was the money manager for that cell. the police in bangladesh declined to comment on terrorist attacks in the country. fighting the funds behind terrorism has become a priority for law enforcement agencies across the world. finance and communications are the two biggest vulnerabilities for terrorists. dennis lormel set up the fbi's terrorist financing section after the 9/11 attacks. he's not surprised the us military chose to kill sujan with a drone strike.
8:53 pm
being a financier, especially somebody who moves a lot of money, is an important target. if you can move dollars and you can get dollars into the hands of people who are going to use that money for illicit activity, to build bombs or carry out attacks, it is incredibly dangerous. and the more we can do to disrupt the flow of funds the less likely they are going to have successful attacks. newport businessman abdul samad was one of those accused by the fbi of being involved in moving funds for terrorism. we asked him to take part in our programme, but he declined 7 saying everything we wanted to know was online. but there were a number of serious allegations raised in this programme to put to him 7 such as why he set up a company for a man now suspected of terrorism. hi, abdul samad.
8:54 pm
these are serious allegations against you. there are some new allegations about the company you opened last year. what about the company, what about the company? there we are, mr samad won't speak to us. he says these allegations are online, there's nothing new in them. he won't respond to new allegations 7 detailed accusations in those fbi documents. it appears that siful sujan's network has been largely dismantled. but the threat from terrorists like sujan remains 7 despite the demise of the so—called islamic state. this is in many ways a prototype of what's to come. especially as isis loses physical territory, they re going to move back into more of an al qaeda type of approach which is shifting funding to supporters in the west and to encourage attacks. i would say people like sujan...
8:55 pm
they are now more important for the next generation ofjihadi organisations that would succeed isis. if you kill the man, the machine actually survives. in wales, the death of siful sujan 7 and the reality that he was such a high—ranking figure in isis — was not the first time that a community here has had to deal with such news. wales has wrestled with the problem of radicalisation for nearly a decade now. a plot to blow up the london stock exchange involved men from cardiff, and the city also saw three young men leave their homes and their families to travel to syria tojoin isis. the physical threat
8:56 pm
from is in the middle east may be diminished 7 but the fear of home—grown extremism hasn't gone away. the heatwave continues and if anything the temperatures will rise even further this week. but not for everybody. the really high temperatures as far as this week is concerned will be concentrated across south eastern and eastern parts of the country. one of the other reasons we are not getting a lot of rainfall is these weather
8:57 pm
fronts you can just about see, these strea ks fronts you can just about see, these streaks of cloud are very weak, they keep going to reach us. there's cooler air keep going to reach us. there's coolerair in keep going to reach us. there's cooler air in the atlantic ready to cut in but ultimately across more southern and eastern areas it's the heat which will win from the south and this pattern is likely to be with us through the whole week. starting with the evening, enter tonight, in the north—west of the country we have these weak weather fronts which are moving in, bringing rainfall to western scotland, northern ireland, ahead of it a few showers but the warmth that this time coming from the south. 20 degrees the overnight low in london and warm in belfast, 17 the starting temperature on monday. here are the weather fronts, behind temperature on monday. here are the weatherfronts, behind me, this is the pressure air trying to cut in but the warmth wins and much of the country, certainly england and wales in the heat. temperatures exceeding 30 on monday in some areas, scotland
8:58 pm
and northern ireland in the fresh atla ntic and northern ireland in the fresh atlantic air but still warm in aberdeen. these weather fronts don't make much progress, the kind of stall about here. this is the pattern on tuesday itself, one weather front there, another one, when i talk about weather fronts they are very weak. it's the cooler air trying to come in with those weather fronts again on tuesday, but the heat keeps on winning. much of england and wales in that hot air but particularly hot amongst the east and east anglia, southeast parts of the midlands, temperatures on tuesdays in some spots up to 32, perhaps 33. compare that to belfast and glasgow around 20 celsius. we will keep the 30s in the south right until the end of the week. this is bbc world news today.
8:59 pm
i'm reged ahmad. our top stories. taken to safety — israel evacuates hundreds of syria's white helmets civil defence volunteers and their families to jordan after an international request. at least 1a people killed in a suicide bomb attack in kabul airport just minutes after the vice president returned to the country. gunmen have killed 11 taxi drivers after opening fire in a violent ambush in south africa. locked in his body for over a decade — but unable to say a word — we'll tell you the incredible story of how martin pistorius found a way out.
9:00 pm

34 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on