Jailed for Terror Charges

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Men Jailed for Almost 13 Years Each After

Former school friends Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed, both aged 22, were jailed for 12 years and 8 months at Woolwich Crown Court after they admitted terror charges. They also received an extended five years on license and were informed that they had to serve two thirds of the prison sentence.


Sarwar, a former student at Birmingham City University, and unemployed Ahmed both travelled to Syria in 2013 for eight months to fight with Al-Qaida inspired rebel fighters. They were discovered after Sarwar’s mother handed his ‘goodbye’ letter to anti-terror police. The letter in question read that her son wanted to, “die as a martyr”.


During trial His Honour Judge Michael Topolski praised the actions of Sarwar’s mother saying she showed ‘considerable courage’ in going to the police.


He added, “She showed extraordinarily brave conduct. I can only imagine the pain she was going through when she read that letter.

“But, despite her bravery and concern for her son, I fail to see how I can reflect the benefit to him in reducing sentence.”


Upon sentencing he said, “Their persistent commitment to terrorism leads me to the sure conclusion that they are dangerous and I should pass an extended sentence.


“They willingly and enthusiastically embarked on a course intending to commit acts of terrorism. The consequences for them are dramatic.”


In preparation for their journey to Syria the friends allegedly bought books titled ‘Arabic for Dummies’ and ‘The Koran for Dummies’ off Amazon. Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said the two defendants planned the trip as far back as 2012. According to Altman, without the aid of Sarwar’s mother they would not have been able to be ready for the defendants when they returned to the UK or prosecute them.


Both men had previously denied being involved in acts of terrorism, but changed their pleas before a jury was sworn in at London’s Woolwich Crown Court during the hearing.

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