Two British Brothers Jailed for Training in Syria

Mohommod Nawaz and Hamza Nawaz from London become the first Britons to be jailed for terrorism training in Syria.

Ben Ariel,

Islamists march in London
Islamists march in London

Two brothers on Wednesday became the first Britons to be jailed for terrorism training in Syria, according to a BBC report.

Mohommod Nawaz, 30, and Hamza Nawaz, 24, both from Stratford, east London, were sentenced to four-and-a-half years and three years respectively.

They had admitted conspiracy to attend a terrorism training camp in 2013.

The judge said the men's "focus" was the regime in Syria rather than attacks in the UK and there was no evidence either man had taken part in fighting.

However, Judge Christopher Moss QC added, "It is clear from the evidence from mobile phones that you both had been in a camp in Syria used for terrorist training.”

"The evidence shows you were there for jihad, or holy war, and wanted to join an extremist group," he said.

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said the sentences sent a "clear message that people who commit, plan and support acts of terror abroad will face justice when they come back to the UK".

The minister also pointed to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before Parliament, which he said would usher in "tough new powers to disrupt travel to Syria or Iraq and control the return of suspected terrorists".

Mohommod Nawaz, previously convicted of kidnap, also pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing ammunition.

Scotland Yard described the jailing of the two men as a "landmark case", and the first of a string of cases due to come before the courts for sentencing.

Last August, members of the Nawaz family contacted the police to say the brothers had gone missing.

The pair had said they were going out for a meal in Walthamstow in East London, but instead they had left for France in Hamza Nawaz's car.

From there they flew from Lyon to Turkey and ultimately crossed the border to join a jihadist training camp.

They returned to the UK in September but were stopped by border officers.

Thousands of European Muslims have reportedly flocked to join the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria, at least several hundred from the UK - although some estimates put that figure at 1,000, and officials have admitted the precise figure is not yet known.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently outlined plans to seize passports from radicalized Britons and stop them returning from fighting overseas, while proposing landing bans on airlines that fail to comply with London's no-fly lists.

The danger from radicalized Britons was illustrated last month, when a four-man Islamic State (ISIS) terror cell was busted by police before apparently planning to behead one or several Britons on the streets of London.