Leicestershire man ‘used Bitcoin to fund Islamic State terrorism’ – BBC News


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image captionHisham Chaudhary faces trial at Birmingham Crown Court

A man used Bitcoin to fund the Islamic State group’s terrorism, a court has heard.

Hisham Chaudhary, 28, of Chestnut Drive, Oadby, Leicestershire, is also accused of spreading propaganda online.

He denies four counts of disseminating a terrorist publication, one count of membership of a proscribed organisation and two counts of funding terrorism.

Birmingham Crown Court heard claims there was a “humanitarian purpose” behind the money was a “smokescreen”.

As the prosecution opened its case, the court heard Mr Chaudhary had produced a “jihad” video, described as “a sinister call-to-arms”, to fight non-believers – which was then spread around the world through the internet.

Jurors were told he also raised money and converted it to Bitcoin, which he used to send funds to the Islamic State group.

Electronic records showed Mr Chaudhary had bought more than £50,000 worth of Bitcoin, and then discussed how to transfer it secretly around the world, the court heard.

The prosecution said when Mr Chaudhary was arrested in a dawn raid, anti-terrorist police found devices in his bedroom containing what were described as IS propaganda videos.

Mr Chaudhary posted some videos online using the name “John Smith”, the court heard.

Prosecutor Simon Davis said: “You may hear claims there was a humanitarian purpose behind the money but this is a smokescreen.

“If that was the case, why not send the money to an NGO like the Red Cross or Red Crescent?

“Why the need to spend so much time creating and disseminating those videos?”

The trial, which is expected to last up to three weeks, continues.

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