Kristen Brekke, who was a teenage convert to Islam from Cardiff, was jailed for four-and-a-half years (In Feb 2016) after being convicted at the Old Bailey of facilitating and funding Aseel Muthana’s travel to Syria. Muthana, who is also from Cardiff, is believed to be fighting with IS. Judge Rebecca Poulet said Brekke was “perhaps naive.”
At the age of 10, he was a proud and patriotic Welsh schoolboy.
Footage of him on a school trip shows a happy, contented young boy, who said: “I feel proud to be Welsh because I like the red dragon and when I ever sing the anthem it, like, makes me very proud and want to sing it.”
He was brought up in the Grangetown area of Cardiff, an area with a large Muslim population and he decided to convert to Islam within a couple of years of starting at Fitzalan High School.
He said most of his friends were Muslim and he wanted to fit in.
Brekke, whose father is of Norwegian origin, changed his name to Kaleem and took his Declaration of Faith at a small mosque in Riverside, just a few streets away from his home, which is renowned for its anti-extremist stance.
The Imam there, Mufti Tariq, said he had never seen any signs of extremism in the teenage Brekke, adding: “All his motivation was for learning.”
Brekke met Aseel Muthana in 2012 when they worked together at a cafe in Grangetown – during his trial, Brekke described him as friendly, easy going and always joking.
Aseel Muthana’s friend, Brekke, was accused of helping him and has now been jailed after being found guilty, alongside two others, of helping in the preparation of an act of terrorism following a trial at the Old Bailey.