Two men have been jailed for preparing to travel to Syria to commit terrorist acts in support of Daesh.
23 year old Safwaan Mansur, from Aston, and 22 year old Hanzalah Patel, from Leicester, were convicted at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday 1 April for being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism between 31 May 2017 and 24 June 2017. They were sentenced to 14 years.
Patel had told his family that he was due to be leading prayers at a mosque in Germany but after concerns were raised police searched the pair’s family homes and began piecing together their intention to travel to Syria and join Daesh. They had bought camping equipment, outdoor survival equipment and clothing and airline tickets before travelling initially to Germany and then onto Istanbul before contacting others to arrange a crossing into Syria.
They had broken down their journey in an attempt to evade surveillance using a mix of air travel and public transport, they had even booked a return flight with no intention of using it.
The pair were detained by Turkish authorities and returned to the UK. They were arrested on 1 July 2017 by West Midlands Counter Terrorism officers when they arrived at Heathrow.
Mansur and Patel - who had known each other since being at school together in Leicester - embarked on a similar trip in 2016 but having got to Hatay on the Syrian border, they returned to the UK. Hatay, at the time was a transit area for individuals wanting to cross into territory occupied by Daesh.
Temporary head of WMCTU Chief Superintendent Shaun Edwards, said, “If anyone is concerned that a friend or family member is thinking of travelling to Syria it is very important that they tell us as soon as possible. Police and other agencies can offer support to help safeguard those who are vulnerable to radicalisers.
"The sooner we can intervene, the better chance we have of preventing people from becoming embroiled in the conflict and facing potential prosecution."
Anyone concerned about someone travelling to, or returning from, Syria or another conflict zone or is worried about someone showing signs of being radicalised should contact their local police on 101.