Guilty: Willesden teenager who flew to Syria to join ISIS
- Credit: Archant
A Willesden teenager with an IQ of just 65 has been found guilty of blowing his student loan on a trip to join ISIS in Syria.
Yahya Rashid, 19, blagged his way on to a course to study Middlesex University by using a forged certificate for a BTech level 3 diploma.
Woolwich Crown Court heard the former Alperton Community School pupil used his student loan to fund tickets to Turkey so he could help four companions travel to war-torn Syria with him in February.
Rashid was able to outfox a suspicious police officer at Gatwick Airport with his pals Khalid Abdul-Rahman and Ibrahim Amouri by claming he was going to Casablanca to ‘look for love not war’.
The trio travelled to an ISIS safe house on the Syrian border with fellow jihadis Swaleh Mohammed and his wife, Deqo Osman before Rashid got cold feet and returned to the UK after his family begged him to come home.
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The others stayed in the Syria and their whereabouts are unknown.
Rashid was arrested at Luton airport on March 31 and charged with preparing to commit an act of terrorism and assisting others to commit acts of terrorism.
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He had denied any wrongdoing and was convicted today.
Jurors also heard Rashid and his companions, who he knew through the Wembley mosque ‘had sympathies with Islamic extremism’.
His Google+ account had been used to make comments, including ‘I am leaving Britain soon. I just need to get some money #Fly #Daesh’.
Another, allegedly posted by Rashid, said: ‘I want to leave this country, it’s a bad country with bad people and no faith in God. I’m leaving in 2 days’.
Prior to his trial Rashid pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud which related to his use of a forged BTEC qualification to secure a place at Middlesex University and subsequently obtained a student loan.
Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) said: “Rashid made the right decision eventually to return to his family but had, by then, committed terrorist offences. He prepared to join the proscribed terrorist group - Islamic State - and assisted others in their preparation to travel to Syria too.”
He will be sentenced on November 18.