17 May 2019 20:40

Suspected ISIS sponsor tells court he wanted to help African children

MOSCOW. May 17 (Interfax) - A 26-year-old man from Russia's North Ossetia republic, Georgy Guyev, arrested on suspicion of wiring no less than 50 million rubles to militants in Syria, has told the court that he was going to help African children.

"As a Muslim, I was helping the needy. Several years ago I came across an online publication by the Live Heart foundation involved in digging wells in African villages to help children. After that I sent [money] transfers to the bank cards of this foundation, but I did not know the cardholders in person," Guyev said at a bail hearing at Cheryomushki district court in Moscow on Friday.

His lawyer told the court that between 2015 and 2019 - the period in which investigators suspect Guyev sent money to the militants - only 150,000 rubles were transferred from his bank card.

Guyev has been charged with abetting terrorism. His detention a day earlier was announced by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and investigative Committee.

According to the criminal inquiry, between January 2015 and May 2019 Guyev transferred money to the bank cards of Islamic State (banned in Russia) fighters in Syria and the Islamic foundation Muhajiroun's founder Israil Akhmednabiyev who is known by his nom de guerre Abu Umar Sasitlinsky.

In all Guyev may have transferred no less than 50 million rubles, investigators said. The checks were cashed abroad and used for terrorist training and crimes of terrorism, the FSB said.

A search of the suspect's home revealed extremist literature, a large number of bank cards and "cell phones with instructions from ISIL coordinators," the FSB said.