A teenager from Blackburn is facing jail after being convicted of attempting to flee to Syria to wage holy war with Islamic State.
Ednane Mahmood, 19, was found guilty of attempting to travel to Syria to commit acts of terrorism as well two counts of doing acts designed to encourage the commission and preparation of terrorist acts by posting links to extremist speeches and propaganda videos.
The Lancashire Telegraph reports that he left his home in the earlier hours of September 18th 2014 to board a flight to Bulgaria, leaving behind a letter to his family detailing his plan to wage jihad in Syria.
Prosecutor Julian Evans told the court: “He was telling his family in the clearest terms that he was leaving the comforts of his life in the UK in order to fight abroad on behalf of Allah and on behalf of Muslims.
“He did not care what others might think of him and his decision and he was well aware that he was putting himself in harm’s way and that he might die as a consequence.”
The court also heard that in the days before his departure he had downloaded a video of the beheading of aid worker David Haines.
However, the teenager, who was also a student at the University of Central Lancashire, never reached Syria. Six days after departure, he contacted his brother from an internet café and was persuaded to come home.
Mr Mahmood denied the charges, claiming he was trying to volunteer for an aid convoy, and that the terrorist videos he viewed were “disgusting and barbaric”. Upon his arrest he claimed he was merely upset about the conflict in Syria and “wanted to help”.
However, jurors found him guilty on all charges after deliberating for nearly seven hours.
Judge Michael Henshall told Mr Mahmood: “You have been convicted on each count on this indictment and the nature of the offence is such that I am satisfied that the only appropriate sentence is one of custody.”
He is due to be sentenced on 11 December.