A man who attempted to travel from the U.K. to Syria to engage in terrorism has been jailed, following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s (Met) Counter Terrorism Command.
Mamun Rashid, 28 (27.01.93) traveled from the U.K. to Istanbul in the summer of 2018 with the intention of crossing the border into Syria and joining the armed conflict against government forces. He was arrested close to the Turkey-Syria border in early 2019, and later deported back to the U.K. He was then arrested by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command on his return.
Appearing at the Woolwich Crown Court on January 6, Rashid was sentenced to 12 years and three months’ imprisonment with an extended five-year licence period.
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Rashid spent months attempting to get into Syria via Turkey so he could fight against government forces.
“This case makes clear that anyone who goes to Syria or other conflict zones with the intention of committing terrorist acts can expect to be investigated by U.K. police and face prosecution on their return.”
Rashid flew to Istanbul from London Stansted in July 2018. Prior to that he had enrolled on a university course, and detectives believe that he had no intention of completing his studies, and instead planned to use the student loan he received to fund his travels.
The court heard that he had expressed his desire to die in the cause of Allah, and be a martyr. Text messages recovered by officers showed that he spent months trying to arrange a border crossing into Syria.
He was arrested by Turkish police on February 5, 2019 in a district close to the Turkey-Syria border. He was held in custody until his deportation back to the U.K. on November 14, 2019. Upon arriving back in the U.K., he was arrested and later charged.
On July 12, 2021 at Woolwich Crown Court, Rashid, of east London, changed his plea and pleaded guilty to preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006).