A man who was arrested at Gatwick after travelling to Syria to become an ISIS fighter has been jailed for seven years.
A police spokesman said Mohammed Uddin, 29, was yesterday (February 9) sentenced after pleading guilty to preparing acts of terrorism.
Police said he travelled to the war-torn Middle Eastern country on November 4 2014 to fight for Daesh (aka ISIS).
He crossed its border back into Turkey and was detained in Gaziantep for not having travel documents on December 12 2014.
He was stopped by Counter Terrorism officers and found in possession of extremist material at Gatwick Airport on his return to the UK on December 22 2014.
Uddin, of Wilmington Gardens, Barking, pleaded guilty to one count of preparation contrary Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 at Woolwich Crown Court.
Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson, who leads on counter-terrorism across the South East, said: “Uddin’s purpose of travel was to join Daesh and engage in terrorist activity but thanks to the proactive work of Gatwick Airport port officers, we were able to intercept Uddin at the airport and ensure that his reasons for travel were fully investigated.
“This has been a long, detailed and thorough investigation by officers at the South East Counter Terrorism Unit and the Crown Prosecution Service, which has resulted a great deal of evidence being uncovered and led to a guilty plea by Uddin.
“Anyone intending to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight or to commit terrorist acts against the UK or our interests should be in no doubt that the police will take the strongest possible action against them.
“Returning foreign fighters pose a threat to the UK and we also have a responsibility to protect UK interests around the world. Preventing travel to Syria is a key part of keeping the British public safe whether they are at home and overseas
“Early intervention is key for the police and other agencies. Between us we can offer support to help safeguard those who are vulnerable to radicalisation. So if anyone is concerned that a friend or family member is thinking of travelling to Syria it is crucial they tell us as soon as possible.
“The sooner we can intervene, the better chance we have of preventing people from becoming embroiled in the conflict and facing potential prosecution.”
Sue Hemming, Head of Special Crime and Counter Terrorism at the CPS, said: Mohammed Uddin left the UK to travel to Syria intending to join Daesh and take part in acts of terrorism.
“It was very clear from the conversations recovered from electrical devices that Uddin had meticulously planned his trip so that he would be able to get to Syria undetected. Online searches had been carried out relating to ‘Islamic state fighting’, which strongly implied a more sinister purpose to his trip - rather than a holiday as he had previously claimed.
“A vast amount of work has gone in to gathering the evidence used in the prosecution case and I would like to thank all of those involved, Uddin’s guilty plea is a testament to the strength of the case brought against him.
“It is vital that we bring the full force of the law against those who leave the UK to support terrorism we will continue to work to build strong cases against these individuals to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice.
Help and advice is available from a wide range of agencies. Anyone who is worried about a loved one and concerned they are considering travelling to Syria is encouraged to reach specially trained police officers by calling 101 or visiting www.preventtragedies.co.uk.
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