Six years for Batley IS sympathiser

Six years for Batley IS sympathiser

A BATLEY man has been sentenced to six years in prison after revealing to an undercover police officer that he intended to join Islamic State and fight in Syria.

Ghulam Hussain admitted at a hearing in April to buying plane tickets so that he could fight for the so-called Islamic State group.

He had purchased airline tickets with credit cards he had obtained fraudulently.

Hussain, of Track Road, Batley, revealed his plan to fight in the Middle East to an undercover officer and was arrested on November 6 last year.

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for committing an act of terrorism and engaging in conduct with the intention of assisting another person to commit an act of terrorism when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court.

Hussain reportedly spent £390 on tickets to travel to Pakistan via Istanbul, and also gave the undercover officer £160 to pay for his accommodation on his journey to join IS and made plans to meet him in Turkey.

He appeared before Leeds Crown Court again last Friday where he was sentenced to six years in prison.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, said: “It was your intention to go abroad, it was your intention to take up arms and to kill and you did encourage the undercover officer to do the same as you.

“You did have a commitment to travel to Syria, to join Daesh, to fight and give your life.”

Hussain, who is of Pakistani origin, claimed he was visiting family and stopping in Turkey for dental treatment, but intended to “disappear” in Istanbul and travel to Syria.

Prosecutor Simon Davis told the court that Hussain had been making plans to travel to Syria for the past 12 months and that he would give a pledge of allegiance to IS when he arrived.

Mr Davis said: “He said he would rather take a bullet than come back to this dump.

“He wanted to fight. When he got out there, he intended to fight, he wanted to train.”

Hussain gave prepared statements in interview and claimed that he had no intention of going to fight for IS, saying that the conversation with the officer was “a bit of banter”.

But upon examination of his mobile phone, material was found that seemingly glorified the actions of IS.

There were various videos of “gruesome” executions.

Judge Collier told Hussain, who showed no emotion as he was jailed, that he would serve half his sentence before being released on licence.

Detective Supt Simon Atkinson, from the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “This has been a detailed and thorough investigation, which led to the defendant pleading guilty in light of the weight of evidence against him.

“This case highlights the way extremists reach out to each other and over a relatively short period of time can encourage others to commit offences; on this occasion to encourage a British citizen to travel to Syria to fight, train and live.

“It is also a further example of how the UK police and security and intelligence services are working tirelessly, using a range of tactics to confront the terrorist threat and keep the public safe.

“We work hard to stop people becoming radicalised online and we rely on the public for information.

“We urge anyone who has concerns that a loved one may be being radicalised or wanting to travel to a conflict zone to contact us on 101.”

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