British citizen sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempting to travel to Syria and engage in terrorism

LONDON — The British Woolwich Crown Court sentenced a 28-year-old British citizen Mamun Rashid to 12 years and three months in prison for attempting to travel to Syria to engage in “terrorist acts”.

London Police indicated that Rashid tried for months to cross the Turkish border into Syria to participate in the fight against the Syrian regime in the summer of 2018 but his attempts failed. Turkish authorities arrested Rashid in early 2019 and he was later deported to Britain where he was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Command of the London Police.

In July 2018, Rashid traveled from London to Istanbul, financing his trip with a study loan. He spent months trying to cross through a border crossing into Syria, according to a police statement.

In July 2021, Rashid admitted in Woolwich Crown Court that he was involved in preparing terrorist acts in violation of Article 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

He was sentenced to 12 years and three months in prison with a further five years on license.

His defense team has stated that Rashid had no plan to join the Islamic State (ISIS) or any other specific terror organization, describing his plan as “staggeringly amateurish”.

The British government has withdrawn British citizenship from 23 people between 2014 and 2016 during the expansion of ISIS control to large areas of Syria and Iraq. A further 125 individuals were stripped of British citizenship in 2017 and 2018.