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Convicted Terrorist Arrested at Heathrow Airport on Return to U.K.

A man has appeared in court charged with terrorism offenses, following his arrest at Heathrow Airport, U.K. on February 3 after arriving on a flight from Turkey.

Stefan Aristidou, 27, a British national of Cypriot descent, has been charged with seven counts of dissemination of terrorist publications, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Following his appearance in court, where he entered a not guilty plea, Aristidou was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey court via video link on February 19.

The material that Aristidou is charged with disseminating includes Islamic State videos of beheadings and public executions. He is thought to have moved to Syria in 2015.

In 2017, he was arrested at a repatriation center in Turkey for belonging to a terrorist organization. Turkish officials said at the time that Aristidou would stand trial in the country and could face up to 15 years in prison. In fact, he and his wife were sentenced to six years and three months in Turkey after they were convicted on terrorism charges. However his appearance at Heathrow shows he did not serve the full term.

Prior to his arrest in Turkey, he had spoken to a Sky News journalist to complain that living under Islmaic State rule was like being in prison, and that he wanted to get his life back.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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