Convicted terrorist back behind bars after ‘hiding financial accounts and using a car’

A convicted terrorist has been returned to prison after maintaining secret financial accounts with authorities.

Kristen Brekke, 26, from South Wales, was one of three men jailed for helping a teenage jihadist follow in his big brother’s footsteps and join so-called Islamic State fighters in Syria in 2014.

Brekke worked at a Cardiff ice cream parlor with Aseel Muthana and supplied him with combat clothing.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey in 2016, Brekke was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for planning terrorist acts.

He was released in September 2017 and subject to notification.

It is impossible for terrorist offenders to have uncontrolled access to financial accounts and vehicles

Judge Angela Rafferty

He admitted to four breaches of this requirement, on dates in 2021 and 2022, failing to inform the police of two cars he was using and a Binance account he had opened, as well as a prepaid card provided by Pockit.

As a mitigation, the court was told that Brekke was trying to support his family but had found it difficult due to his conviction.

Jacob Bindman, for Brekke, said: “He made a few silly decisions in a short period of time and drove his employer to his job several times.”

He said no money had been transferred to or from the financial accounts.

On Tuesday, Judge Angela Rafferty sentenced Brekke to nine months in prison with an additional year of extended license.

She said an internship report revealed that Brekke “resented a lot” for the notification requirement imposed on him and sought to justify and minimize his behavior.

She says he has made efforts to “improve” his life.

The judge told him, “I accept that there is no evidence that you committed these breaches for the purpose of committing further offenses of any kind.

“Your explanation for the financial breaches is that it was easy to create these accounts and you didn’t know you had to disclose them.

“With respect to the cars, you accept that there is no excuse of any kind for this when you have driven the vehicles during your employment.

“In my view, you complied until it became too difficult to comply and then made the decision to try to avoid the rigors of the requirements.”

The judge told Brekke he was a ‘particularly concerning offender’ and added: ‘These requirements were designed to monitor you in order to ensure public safety.

“It is impossible for terrorist offenders to have unsupervised access to financial accounts and vehicles.

“It is accepted that no damage was caused.

“However, I do not accept that financial crimes come close to a reasonable excuse or technical failures.”