University student caught with 20,000 euros in knickers denies terrorism

19th May 2014

A university student who was caught with thousands of pounds worth of banknotes in her underwear at Heathrow airport has denied funding terrorism. Nawal Masaad, 26, is accused of trying to smuggle the cash to Turkey on January 16 this year, from where the prosecution alleged it would be taken by a contact to Syria. Notes totalling €20,000 (£16,300) in €500 notes were discovered wrapped in cling film in the young woman’s underwear when she was searched by airport security officers.

Prosecutors claim she was recruited by Amal El-Wahabi, 27, to take the money to Istanbul, where she would rendezvous with El-Wahabi’s husband, who the court heard was involved in terrorism in Syria.

Masaad, of Holloway, north London, and El-Wahabi, of north-west London, both deny “becoming concerned in a funding arrangement” and having “reasonable cause to suspect that it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism”.

The maximum sentence for the offence, if convicted, is 14 years’ imprisonment. The pair are the first British women to be charged with terrorism offences related to the conflict.