Two brothers have been jailed after they pleaded guilty to conspiring to attend a terrorist training camp in Syria.
Mohommod Nawaz, 30, was given a four-and-a-half year sentence, while younger brother Hamza, 24, received three years.
The pair were intercepted in September upon their return to Britain at the port of Dover. They were carrying bullets and pictures as trophies when they were arrested.
London’s Metropolitan Police have described the two men’s jailing as a “landmark case”, and added that similar cases are due to come before the courts for sentencing.
The brothers came the attention of the authorities after their relatives contacted police last August to report them as missing. The men said they were going out for a meal, but never returned. Instead, they travelled to France before flying to Turkey.
They then crossed the border into Syria and attended a terrorist training camp.
The BBC reports that when the men were arrested, a number of videos were found on their phones. One shows them at a river crossing on the Syria-Turkey border where they are trying to avoid detection by Turkish authorities.
When someone asks the pair who they support, they respond with “Junud al-Shaam”, a group of Sunni fighters primarily comprised of Chechens and Lebanese primarily allied with the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Nusra Front.
The men are also asked “Here for jihad”, with one of them responding: “Jihad, yeah.”
The men also took various photographs within the training camp, including one of the timetable for their training. According to the picture, their day began at 4.30am with prayers and Islamic lessons, followed by physical training. There were also further Islamic lessons before bed at 10pm.
Another photograph shows Mohommod wearing camouflage gear and holding an AK-47.
Although the pair tried to keep their plans secret, Hamza sent a Whatsapp message to selected friends saying: “We’ve left to come to Syria. We know everyone will be angry with what we have done but it’s something we wanted to do. I will be in touch soon.”
Counter-terrorism officer Detective Chief Superintendent Commander Terri Nicholson said: “It’s a landmark case with many other in the pipeline for sentencing.
“We have two brothers from east London who have travelled to Syria and engaged in and received terrorist training while there was out there and then returned to the UK. This is a significant sentence for us.”