() View gallery
THE father of Islamic jihadi fighters who died in Syria has appeared in court charged with assaulting a man in a mosque.
Abubaker Deghayes, 49, pleaded not guilty to the charge at Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.
Deghayes, of Arundel Drive, Saltdean, spoke to confirm his name age and address after which details of his forthcoming trail were arranged.
Prosecutor Mr Andrew Walker told the court in Edward Street that his case was a “straightforward assault” which involved the defendant allegedly “beating a the victim in the face in a mosque.”
The Deghayes family has been well-known in Brighton since Abubaker’s sons Abdullah, then 18, and Jaffar, then 17, travelled to Syria in 2014 to fight dictator Bashar al-Assad alongside the al-Quaedi-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusr brigades.
They were killed within months of each other that year.
A third son, Amer, has fought with jihadis in Middle East battlegrounds including Aleppo.
Abubaker’s brother Omar, uncle to the jihadi brothers, was detained in Guantanamo Bay for five years and released in 2007 after which time he returned to Brighton.
A serious case review into the radicalisation of the teens, released earlier this year, concluded authorities missed several opportunities to stop the brothers’ journey to jihadism.
Graham Bartlett, the then chairman of the Safeguarding Children Board, said at the time: “The system as a whole let these young boys down and it’s a wake up call to these agencies to work better together.”
These included an incident in 2012 when Jaffar, after being arrested for making threats to kill a shopkeeper, told police that “judgment day” was coming for all who “did not follow Allah”.
In 2013, a school raised concerns that some youths were being paid to convert to Islam and were expressing strong anti-Semitic views. A youth worker also raised the alarm about the way one of the Deghayes brothers criticised Americans.
The report described both instances as “missed opportunities to learn more about the activities of the young people and to understand the links between young people in Brighton”. It added: “At that time there was little local or national knowledge or understanding of the risks to children from being exploited into radicalisation to and go and fight in wars.”
Deghayes was released on bail to return for trial in January.
Source: The Argus