Hungarian Police have detained two British Muslims just months after one of them stood trial, accused of attempting to join Islamic State.
They are thought to have been on their way to Turkey and ultimately Syria, but will now be returned to the UK, where they may face prosecution for allegedly failing to notify the police of their travel plans.
The two men have been named as Trevor Brooks, who is also known as Abu Izzadeen — a close associate of Anjem Choudary — and Simon Keeler. Both are British converts to Islam. They were detained on a train at the border station of Lokoshaza on Sunday, en-route to Bucharest, capital city of Romania, The Times has reported.
When asked to produce their travel documents, Mr Keeler provided police with a current driver’s licence, while Mr Brooks handed them a copy of the Koran. Hungarian police spokeswoman Viktoria Csiszer-Kovacs told AFP that it was only after their arrest that it emerged they were subject to a European Arrest Warrant, issued in Britain. The pair will now appear in court in Budapest over their possible extradition.
Both have served previous jail sentences, having been found guilty at the same trial in 2008 of inciting terrorism overseas and terrorist fundraising.
Mr Keeler was back in court again earlier this year charged with attempting to join Islamic State, after he was discovered in the back of a lorry heading out of Britain via Dover. Although he was acquitted of the charges relating to Islamic State, he was found guilty of possession of false identity documents and handed a 15 month sentence. He had only recently been released.
London-born Mr Brooks, 44, grew up in a Christian Jamaican family, converting to Islam on the eve of his 18th birthday thanks to radical preaching at the Finsbury Park Mosque. He first came to the public’s attention in 2006 when he heckled the then Labour Home Secretary John Reid during a speech on targeting potential Islamist terrorists.
Mr Reid asked Muslim parents to keep an eye on their children and act if they suspected that they were being radicalised. Mr Brooks interjected, accusing the minister of being an “enemy” of Islam, and said he was “furious” about “state terrorism by British police.”
He has also refused to condemn the 7/7 London bombings which claimed the lives of 52 innocent people, and has urged a boycott of the Poppy Appeal, claiming anyone who wore a poppy in remembrance of fallen servicemen “supported the murder of Muslims”.