FBI documents seen this week by The Sunday Times reveal that the Islamic State utilized shadow companies operating out of Cardiff, Wales, to send equipment and financing to terrorist operatives in Spain in 2015.
Among the equipment sent by one Welsh firm was surveillance technology believed to be linked to the development of ‘weaponized drones’ capable of identifying “target locations,” “bug sweep units,” and software to launch rockets.
Another firm in Wales was used to transfer thousands of pounds in cash to an extremist in Maryland. Mohamed Elshinawy pled guilty to terrorism-related charges on Tuesday after being charged in 2015 with soliciting funds from Islamic State operatives and planning to carry out a plot in the United States.
The firms were set up under the name “Peter Soren,” which is believed to be an alias for Siful Sujan, who left Wales three years ago to join the terror group in Syria. Sujan was an IT specialist who became an ISIS hacker and was killed in a US drone strike in Raqqa. He came to the UK from Bangladesh in 2003 to study.
After he went to Syria, the FBI worked in tandem with British authorities to investigate his companies and named him and his wife, Shayma Akter, as “co-conspirators” or “facilitators” in terrorism. Other directors allegedly linked to the companies include Sujan’s older brother Ataul Haque and Haque’s Spanish-born, Muslim convert wife Ana Gonzalez.
Haque and his wife, who both live in Spain, deny involvement, and told the Times they trusted his brother “110 percent” and never questioned his instructions.
Describing the Islamic State as a “twisted ideology,” Haque said he would be willing to cooperate with intelligence agencies and law enforcement.
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