• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Terrorist who travelled to Syria to join extremist group released from prison

In 2014, Yusuf Zubair Sarwar and his childhood friend were jailed for nearly 13 years

Representational image (iStock)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A “DANGEROUS” terrorist from Birmingham, who was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison after returning from Syria, has been released early on licence.

Yusuf Zubair Sarwar’s release came more than a year after the Parole Board heard his application.

In 2014, Woolwich Crown Court jailed Sarwar and his childhood friends Mohammed Nahin Ahmed for 12 years and nine months after they admitted to spending eight months in Syria where they had joined Kataib al-Muhajireen, an extremist group linked to Al-Qaeda. They were also sentenced to an extended licence period of five years.

Before leaving for Syria in May 2013, the men had ordered books from Amazon including ‘Islam for Dummies’, ‘The Koran For Dummies’ and ‘Arabic For Dummies’, according to prosecutors.

Sawar faked documents to convince his family that he was going on a university trip, while laying plans to travel through Turkey to join the Syrian civil war.

His family reported him missing after they discovered his hand-written letter telling his mother of his intentions to “do jihad”.

The pair, who came back to the UK after being persuaded by their families in Birmingham, told the police they had been to Syria for humanitarian reasons, a claim the court later rejected.

Officers found a digital camera with thousands of warzone images, believed to be taken around the city of Aleppo, with some of the photos showing the duo carrying guns.

While sentencing the two men – both aged 22 at the time – Judge Michael Topolski had described them as “dangerous”.

He concluded that the “fundamentalists” were “deeply committed to violent extremism,” having “embarked on a course intended to commit acts of terrorism.”

They had travelled to Syria “intending on jihad’ and ‘martyrdom on the battlefield,” the judge said but noted that they had no plans for a terror attack in the UK.

Now the Parole Board has confirmed its panel has directed the release of Sarwar, now 31, following an “oral hearing.”

He will be under an extended licence period of five years during which his movements and contacts will be restricted.

MailOnlie reported that Ahmed will also walk out of prison with similar conditions later this year if the Parole Board accepts his application for release.

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