A trial is underway in Portugal involving alleged operatives for the Islamic State. One of the interesting things about this story is that most of the conspirators seem to have ethnic Portuguese names.
Alleged jihadist denies involvement with DAESH (ISIS), but can’t explain compromising telephone calls with his brother
Cassimo Ture admitted that his brother, Sadjo Ture, gave him a book the day he was arrested in England, and at his request went to pick up a man at the Lisbon airport, but denies belonging to a terrorist organization. The defense attorney says that his client is only being accused because the brother was investigated in the United Kingdom.
by Sonia Trigueirao
October 26, 2020
Cassimo Ture — who is on trial, together with Romulo Costa, for, allegedly, participating in a terrorist cell with six other Portuguese citizens) accused of belonging to Daesh (ISIS), and joining forces, recruiting, and financing the terrorist organization, supporting the travel of Portuguese and British citizens to Syria to fight on the side of the jihadists — denies the accusations against him, but he cannot explain the content of some compromising telephone calls with his brother, Sadjo Ture, and the favors he did for him.
“My only organization is my family, and it is for this that I fought,” he said, denying ever taking part in any terrorist organization, as he is charged in the indictment. Cassimo Ture, who only decided to speak at the end of the trial — the final arguments are already scheduled for November 9 — explained that his concern was to bring a woman from Guinea to Portugal, deal with her nationality, and then take her to London, where she currently lives with two of her children.
“I deny the charges; I never belonged to any terrorist organization; I never adhered to that cause; I am Muslim and I frequent religious locations, but I never had anything to do with this,” he stated before the panel of judges.
As for the other accused, Celso, Edgar, and Romulo Costa, the accused (Ture) said that he knew them from the neighborhood where they grew up and studied, in Massama, only when they were young, denying having contact with them as adults.
As for his brother, Sadjo Ture, who, together with Celso da Costa, was suspected in the UK of kidnapping two journalists, John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemens, in July 2012, on the Turkish-Syrian border, he said that he never suspected that it could be connected to terrorist activities.
According to the indictment, Sadjo Ture forged qualification certificates in order to register students into British universities and receive social assistance in that country. Since that was all done on the Internet, the social assistance was transacted via codes, then sent to the email addresses of the students, who in reality didn’t exist, which allowed any person to pick up the money.
Sadjo Ture then sent the money to Cassimo, who distributed it to the other members of the group, such as Celso Costa and Edgar Costa. The brother of Cassimo had a book where he kept all the email records that he used, and the respective codes, in order to access the social assistance support. The book was found by the Judicial Police during searches at the home of the parents of Romulo Costa.
Cassimo Ture admitted that his brother gave him the book when the two were at the airport in London, and the police detained Sadjo. “He said that he would tell me later to whom to deliver it,” he told the judge, noting that he never opened the book to see what was in it, and that, also at that time, he didn’t know why his brother was being arrested. An explanation that did not convince the judge, who asked him if he weren’t curious to know. “I asked, but he said that they were his things. My brother was very reserved,” he said, admitting that Sadjo had sent him money several times, but that it was to help himself and his parents. “I never delivered money to anyone,” he swore.
As for what he did with the book, the accused said that he delivered it, per the request of his brother, to Ahsan Ali Iqbal, during the time he was in Portugal. Iqbal was also identified in the UK as having been involved in the kidnapping of two journalists, together with two Portuguese nationals, Sadjo Ture and Celso Costa, and that he had just been arrested in Tanzania.
At that point Cassimo received a request from Sadjo to go and pick up a man at the Lisbon airport. According to the indictment, this is alleged to be a young recruit. Cassimo admits that he went to pick him up at the airport, and that he left him at a house in Massama. The following day he returned to take him to the airport so he could embark for Turkey. He also confessed that it was he who purchased the airplane ticket to Turkey. He said he did it on the request of his brother, but that he didn’t question it because he assumed it was normal.
The judge confronted the accused with some wiretaps in which Sadjo talks about the recruit, saying: “Just dispatch the kid,” “turn Friday,” “inside and bye,” and “This is still not concentrated. He was the one who asked more questions”. Cassimo says that he didn’t know what his brother meant by these phrases.
The magistrate also confronted him with another wiretap, in which Cassimo asks his brother if the ticket to Istanbul is only one-way. Sadjo scolds him and says that he can’t talk about this on the telephone, noting that the ticket has to be round-trip because, if not, they won’t allow entry into Turkey, that the man has to demonstrate his intention to return.
Cassimo again says that he didn’t know what his brother meant. “At times, he said things that I didn’t understand,” he maintained. An argument that did not convince the judge, who asked the reason why Cassimo never asked his brother what he was talking about.
On leaving the court, Ricardo Serrano, Cassimo’s lawyer, said that he was confident in the innocence of his client and that the only reason he was there as the accused was because his brother Sadjo was being investigated in the United Kingdom.