Stepney man who tried to join IS in Syria is jailed for six years
PUBLISHED: 15:47 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 20:12 21 June 2017
A wannabe Islamic State terrorist who was detained in Turkey while trying to travel to Syria has been jailed for six years.
Shamim Ahmed, 24, was sentenced at the Old Bailey today after pleading guilty to preparation of terrorist acts last month.
The former Crossrail worker did not not hear his sentence read out after being removed from the court earlier for shouting out remarks and continually disrupting proceedings.
When Judge John Bevan told Ahmed that he would be removed if he did not remain quiet, he replied “I do not care” and was taken out in handcuffs.
Before the sentenced was handed down, the court heard that Ahmed had led an “unsophisticated” attempt to join Islamic State.
On January 11, 2016, he flew from Gatwick to Istanbul and checked into a hotel under his own name with less than £50 in his bank account.
After paying for five nights’ accommodation, he booked a flight to Gaziantep, “a well known Islamic State musterpoint” by the Syrian border, and travelled there on January 13, 2016.
He left Gaziantep at 10.45am the next morning but was detained at Oncupinar Border Crossing by the Turkish authorities.
They deported him back to the UK two days later and Ahmed was met by counter-terrorist police on his arrival where he was arrested and subsequently charged.
He was said to have to cover up his intentions with a “somewhat hopeless ploy” that he was going to meet someone from the dating website Match.com.
However, he later told a probation officer that “he just wanted to live in Syria under Sharia law”.
Ahmed, who is said to have a low IQ, sent threatening emails to the office of the UK prime minister in July 2014.
He later sent similar emails to the Australian government and Sun newspaper.
He secured employment on the Crossrail project in August 2014 through a security firm but was later fired.
He came to the attention of authorities in January 2015 with his “increasing aggressive views” after threatening staff at a Kensington bookshop over their plans to sell the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo following the terrorist attack at its office.
For that he pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious communications and was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Hammersmith Magistrates Court in November 2015.
He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service and received an indefinite restraining order barring him from contacting the bookshop.
Sentencing today, Judge Bevan said Ahmed did not qualify as a “dangerous” individual but he was an “offender of particular concern” and at risk of further radicalisation in prison.
He was given one year’s extra licence following his release from prison.