Wife of terror plotter avoids jail
THE wife of a white Muslim convert who plotted to target Royal Wootton Bassett was given a 12 month suspended sentence for failing to provide information that might have helped in his arrest and prosecution.
Ayan Hadi, 31, of Acton, west London, had already admitted failing to alert the authorities when her husband Richard Dart, a white Muslim convert, had planned to fly to Pakistan for combat training which could then be followed by violent acts of terrorism.
Mr Justice Sweeney, sitting at the Old Bailey yesterday, told Hadi that justice could be tempered by mercy, particularly in cases involving someone who is vulnerable or in a relationship with a defendant. Hadi had been in an abusive first marriage, felt isolated and wanted a happy home life, the court was told.
Dart was jailed for six years in April with two co-conspirators Jahangir Alom and Imran Mahmood for engaging in conduct in preparation of acts of terrorism.
Dart and Alom travelled to Pakistan to try to get terrorist training, and took advice from Mahmood who had already visited the country, the court heard.
Former BBC security guard Dart also discussed bomb making with Mahmood, and spoke of targeting Royal Wootton Bassett which became a focal point for the repatriation of UK soldiers from Afghanistan.
Hadi was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years, a two year supervision order plus a 10 year notification requirement where she will have to tell the authorities of her whereabouts.
The judge told Hadi that there had been "an element of choice" in her decision not to alert the authorities after Dart revealed his intentions to her in November 2011.
He also noted that having a first husband who was "clearly abusive" towards her had "coloured in part your relationship to the information" which Dart told her.
Dart also put her "in a difficult position" by making her "choose for your love for him" and balancing out her duty to tell the authorities.
The judge noted that Hadi was of good character and that neither she nor any member of her family had shown any Jihadist sympathies.
Hadi and Dart met on the internet in August 2011, they married a month later and she claimed she had no idea he was an extremist until she later saw a BBC documentary by his step-brother Robb Leech - called My Brother The Islamist.
The judge said: "You have demonstrated remorse for your behaviour. This experience has made you aware of your responsibilities which you should have been aware of in the first place."
Imran Mahmood received nine years and nine months, and Jahangir Alom was jailed for four years and six months.
At the time they were sentenced, the judge said they were all "committed fundamentalists" who would have been prepared to kill.
Dart, who changed his name to Salahuddin al-Britani, became involved in extremism after moving from his home town of Weymouth, Dorset, to east London and fraternising with radical Muslim Anjem Choudary.
Emails between Hadi and Dart showed that she "endorsed his security conscious approach" including the need for passwords, the judge said.
He noted it was "equally clear that Dart made his terrorist intentions plain".
Mohammad Hossain, defending, claimed that Hadi was a decent woman now with a young child who had married Dart while "not knowing the type of man that he was".
He described her as a woman who wanted a warm loving home life but she was quite weak willed. She suffers from a post-natal condition.
"She was desperate to have a family, to be married and have a child," Mr Hossain claimed.
Her first husband was an abusive man who kept her locked up in the house, the court was told.
Mr Hossain added she did not "condone or support anything that her husband stood for" and there is "no evidence in this case that this lady held any radical or extremist views. It was all about her desire to keep in touch with her husband."