A 26-year-old man has been found guilty of giving £3,000 to a suspect in the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, during a meeting in a Birmingham park months earlier.
Zakaria Boufassil, a Belgian national, supplied £3,000 to Mohamed Abrini, who earned his nickname after being spotted on CCTV at Brussels airport just before the bombings in March, the court heard in a case that underlined the complexity of European terror networks.
A second man, Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 27, has pleaded guilty to the same offense. Mohamed Abrini, the suspect dubbed the “man in the hat”, received the money in July 2015, Kingston Crown Court heard. The defendants will be sentenced on 12 December. Abrini, 31, was arrested in Belgium and accused of “participating in terrorist acts” linked to the Brussels Zaventem airport suicide bombing on 22 March. The Belgian-Moroccan was also wanted by French authorities over the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris in which 130 people died. Abrini fled Brussels airport after his two alleged accomplices blew themselves up. He had been on Europe’s most wanted list since being identified as one of two suspects seen on CCTV traveling in a car two days before the Paris attacks.
There was said to have been telephone contact between all three men and technical evidence showing their phones had been in close proximity, including in the park.