The ex-girlfriend of a pro footballer has been jailed for 18 months for funding Islamist fighters.

Amaani Noor, 21, from Wavertree, Liverpool, wedded a jihadi and told him it was ‘her dream’ to join him to fight in Syria.

She married her husband Hakim via online video-link and booked a plane to join him in 2018, but her plan was foiled after she was found to have sent $45.51 (£35) to a Paypal account linked to The Merciful Hands Islamist group.

The former Miss Teen Great Britain star denied knowing or believing that the money may be used for the purposes of terrorism.

She claimed she thought the sum would go towards buying food for women and children in Syria.

But a jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard Noor had expressed her support for ‘violent jihad’ and Islamic State terrorists via the encrypted instant messaging service Telegram.

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The court was told she had been in a relationship with a professional footballer when she was a teenager, and also had a short marriage to a preacher.

The player has been named as Sheyi Ojo, who is on loan from Liverpool at Rangers. He joined LFC as a 14-year-old.

The jury heard Noor, from Liverpool, had been introduced to The Merciful Hands by Victoria Webster, 28, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to funding terrorism.

Before sending the money, she received a message from Webster saying a foreign fighter needed help.

The message said: ‘The father is a frontliner, and due to his circumstances and debts it’s hard to keep food on the table.’

A minute after sending the cash Noor messaged Webster, saying: ‘So will it go to a brother who is a fighter or ex fighter and has a family?’

The jury rejected Noor’s explanation that she only intended the money to be used for humanitarian aid.

Sentencing Noor on Friday, Judge Andrew Menary QC also rejected the claim that she had set up a PayPal account in a fake name because of ‘considerations of modesty’.

The court heard Noor supported Sharia Law and kept IS propaganda videos depicting terrorists torturing, executing and beheading victims on her phone.

She said she had both dreams and fears of becoming an ISIS fighter in a deleted email sent to her husband.

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The jury was told how on the day police searched Noor’s home in July last year, she had flights booked to Turkey.

Giving evidence, Noor told the jury she had been planning to go and join her husband Hakim in Syria, where he said he was an independent fighter, and as their marriage continued she ‘wanted to be with him more’.

The former performing arts student, who had a Youtube channel, said her marriage to Hakim had ended and she felt it was ‘stupid’, ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’.

She added: ‘I don’t feel proud or happy about it.’

Webster, of Nelson, Lancashire, was jailed for 17 months for providing money for the purposes of terrorism and inviting another to provide money for the purposes of terrorism.