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Civil case against funder of jihadist

PROSECUTORS are chasing the assets of a man who was convicted of helping to fund a suicide bombing in Sweden four years ago.

The Crown's Civil Recovery Unit had quietly launched a civil proceeds of crime action against the supposedly penniless Algerian asylum seeker Nasserdine Menni.

Menni was jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of supporting suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab, who blew himself up in Stockholm in December 2010.

His sentence was cut to three years earlier this summer. He is now expected to remain in custody awaiting deportation.

The Crown has declined to reveal any details of which assets it is seeking from Menni, who lived in Glasgow under a false name while claiming benefits and working in low-paid jobs.

A spokesman said: "Mr Menni is the subject of live civil recovery proceedings in the Court of Session, a Recovery Order petition having been lodged by the Scottish Ministers on January 24, 2013.

"As proceedings are live, it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this time."

Civil actions linked to the war on terror are rare. The recovery proceedings have been working their way through the Court of Session for the last year-and-a-half, but have never been publicised. The merits of the case will be judged on the balance of probabilities rather than the criminal proof of beyond reasonable doubt.

Menni was initially traced after global probe following the Abdulwahab blast, in which no-one other than the bomber was killed but two people were hurt. Abdulwahab failed to detonate some devices, including a pressure cooker filled with explosives, with which he had planned to murder Christmas shoppers in the Swedish capital.

Menni had deposited £5,725 to help pay for Abdulwahab's trips for "jihad" and sent another £1,000 to the Iraqi-born Swede's wife after his death. The Herald revealed close co-operation between Sweden's security police and Scottish officers during the investigation and subsequent trial.

In 2013/14 the Civil Recovery Unit recovered £4.4 million, half of all cash raised under dirty money legislation in Scotland. It can and does go after assets held overseas and has substantial links with law enforcement and prosecutors in other jurisdictions, including Dubai and Spain.

Any assets seized from Menni would go to the Scottish Government's scheme supporting sports for young people and other causes.

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