Khadidja Benboukhemis, 42, was sentenced to three years after being convicted of two counts of dissemination of terrorist publications. She was married to former BT electrician Abu Izzadeen, whose name was Trevor Brooks before he converted, from June 2014 to November 2017. He was jailed for two years in January 2016 for leaving the UK illegally after he was found in Hungary on a train to Bucharest, having been smuggled out of the country via Dover.
An associate of Anjem Choudary and a spokesperson for Al Ghurabaa, Izzadeen was also jailed in 2008 for four and a half years on charges of fundraising for terrorism and inciting terrorism overseas.
Although Benboukhemis admitted sending the material last year, she insisted she was unaware of the content and was “trying to gain the recipient’s opinion of it”.
However, according to PlymouthLive this was rejected by a judge, who said Benboukhemis was “intelligent and articulate” and aware of what she was sharing.
Kingston Crown Court heard one of the charges related to Benboukhemis sending someone a song, known as a ‘Nasheed’, which was an “explicit encouragement to support Islamic State”.
The other related to a video called “Flames of War 2” which a judge said contained “graphic recordings of beheadings, executions by setting victims on fire, the desecration of the dead bodies of IS opponents and the mutilated bodies of children killed in the Syrian War.”
The Recorder of Richmond Judge Peter Lodder QC said the video, which was almost an hour long, was “intermingled” with footage of attacks by Islamic state on Western targets, as well as battle scenes and the “glorification of IS fighters”.
He said: “This was the highly provocative and deeply shocking material which you sent, intending to encourage acts of terrorism.”
The court heard Benboukhemis was living a “double life” – working, volunteering and looking after her children by day – but by night became immersed in an “online world of rhetoric and discussion around Islam that became increasingly extreme”.
She blamed her third husband for her involvement in radical Islam, the court heard, and told a probation officer that Izzadeen would encourage her to research her knowledge of Islam.
However, evidence from her phone showed Benboukhemis had sent a Whatsapp message saying Izzadeen was “detained in the prison of Cross worshippers. Just because he said the truth”.
Judge Lodder said: “You were well aware of your husband’s allegiances, and demonstrated your support for them.
“It may well be that you were guided into the radical world by one or both of your second and third husbands, but it is clear that you quickly became an enthusiastic and committed ISIS supporter.
“I am prepared to accept that you are now beginning to appreciate just how wrong it was to act as you did, and I hope that you have realised that you must have nothing to do with terrorism in the future.”
Benboukhemis, of Wantage Gardens, Plymouth, was jailed for three years.