Ex-boxer arrested for bid to smuggle people to Syria

A former British boxer has been arrested in London for allegedly trying to smuggle jihadis to Syria out of Britain in the back of a lorry, media reported.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 05, 2014, 16:27 PM IST

London: A former British boxer has been arrested in London for allegedly trying to smuggle jihadis to Syria out of Britain in the back of a lorry, media reported.

Anthony Small, 33, who converted to Islam, was arrested in a dramatic dawn swoop Wednesday by counter-terrorism detectives in south east London, The Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Small, who calls himself Abdul Haqq, has close association with radical Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary, who was held in London terror raids in September.

Police believe he is linked to a failed plot to sneak two men through Dover Sunday so they could travel to Syria and fight for the Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group.

Their passports were confiscated in a bid to stop them from leaving the country. But some of them are now suspected of attempting to flee through the same underworld channels used by illegal immigrants. 

The two men found hidden in the lorry were sitting alongside more than a dozen migrants and an Eastern European accused of acting as a fixer.

They were arrested at gunpoint following the discovery of the vehicle on Sunday.

Small and a second man, aged 40, were arrested at their homes in South East London on Wednesday.

The former boxer was held on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism while the second man was held on suspicion of conspiracy to possess and supply fraudulent documents.

Three other men were arrested in separate operations in East London and at the port of Dover.