UK & World News

  • 21 May 2014, 1:56

British Father Guilty Of Syria Terror Plan

A father of two from Portsmouth has been convicted of preparing to commit acts of terrorism in Syria.

Mashudur Choudhury, 31, left for the country with the intention of visiting a military training camp and joining the uprising against the Syrian government.

The jury at Kingston Crown Court were told that Skype conversations he had with fellow Briton Ifthekar Jaman - who is believed to have died while fighting with rebel groups in Syria - suggested Choudhury was preparing for martyrdom.

One message he wrote proposed the four other men he would be travelling with should be called the "Britani brigade Bangladeshi bad boys".

The court was also shown text messages exchanged between Choudhury and his wife before he left.

"Go die in battlefield. Go die, I really mean it just go. I'll be relieved. At last. At last," his wife wrote.

Prosecutor Alison Morgan told the court: "The evidence clearly shows that this defendant planned for and then travelled to Syria with the intention of attending a training camp.

"The training was to include the use of firearms and the purpose of fighting was to pursue a political, religious or ideological cause.

"At times in his discussions with others the defendant described his intention to become a martyr."

Choudhuryleft for Syria in October 2013 but it is not known what he did in the country before he was arrested when he returned to Gatwick Airport two weeks later.

Brendan O'Dowd, head of the South East Counter Terrorism Unit, warned that anyone travelling to Syria with the intention of joining the uprising faced arrest upon their return.

He said: "Choudhury had considered and planned his trip for some weeks, even months beforehand. He hid behind a history of lies in an effort to misdirect and frustrate our investigation.

"If anyone has a genuine desire to help then they are encouraged to offer aid and support by donating through charities supporting the relief operation.

"Syria is a very dangerous place - best described as a cocktail of high risk and threat. Anyone thinking of travelling to fight Jihad against the Assad regime, think again.

"You are likely to be killed or kidnapped and if you return to the UK you are highly likely to be arrested."

There are believed to be hundreds of Europeans who have joined the uprising in Syria butChoudhury is the first person in the UK to be found guilty of terrorist offences relating to the conflict.

He will be sentenced on June 13.

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