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Mamun Rashid: Londoner who used benefits and student loan to fund Syria martyr plot jailed for 12 years

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Mamun Rashid: Londoner who used benefits and student loan to fund Syria martyr plot jailed for 12 years

A wannabe terrorist who used his student loan and carers’ allowance to fund his attempt to join a Syrian jihadi training camp has been jailed for 12 years.

Mamun Rashid, of Whitechapel in east London, was within walking distance of the north Syria border when he was caught by Turkish authorities in February 2019, having flown from London to Istanbul where he spent six months hatching his plan.

The 28-year-old’s terror plot was partly funded by his student loan - although he did not attend lectures or complete any coursework - as well as state benefits for being his mother’s registered carer, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

He pleaded guilty to one count of preparing acts of terrorism, having initially denied the offence upon being deported to the UK.

His Honour Judge Andrew Lees handed Rashid an extended sentence of 12 years and three months in prison, with a further five years on licence.

The judge said on Thursday: "When you were 23 years old you started corresponding with a friend about an ‘amazing idea’ you said Allah had given you.

"You described yourself as being ‘crazy enough to go through with it’ for the sake of Allah.

"You described yourself as having constant thoughts of dying in the cause of Allah.

TER093-2021 Mamun Rashid.png

Metropolitan Police TER093-2021 Mamun Rashid.png

"You lamented the plight of Muslims elsewhere in the world while you enjoyed the luxuries of your life in London.

"You said you felt like a hypocrite until Allah saved you, and that now you felt like a king."

The judge said he was unable to verify Rashid’s claims in custody that he no longer had the same extremist mindset.

The sentence means Rashid will serve a minimum of two-thirds of the jail term in custody, before being released with conditions for the remainder of the sentence.

His total sentence - including extended licence period - will therefore be one of 17 years and nine months.

Prosecutor Paul Jarvis said Rashid wanted to get to Syria - which has been mired in a bloody civil war since 2011 - to fight the government, led by Bashar Al Assad.

Mr Jarvis said: "From his early twenties, he (Rashid) took an interest in the plight of Muslims in Syria, and blamed Bashar for their suffering."

Mr Jarvis said Rashid began talking about his plans with others, telling one: "I hope I can be the best martyr," adding: "I need to reach the blessed land."

The court heard Rashid was briefly kicked out of his family home by his father, who suspected him of being a terrorist, before relenting and allowing him to return.

He flew to Istanbul in July 2018 and spent several months trying to find a way into Syria.

He eventually caught a bus to Hatay Province, in the south-west of Turkey, where he was caught and detained for 282 days before being deported.

Mr Jarvis said: "But for his apprehension, it is very likely he would have carried out that intention of joining a terrorist group."

His defence team said Rashid had no plan to join Isis or any other specific terror organisation, describing his plan as "staggeringly amateurish".

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