Jailed: Willesden teenager who flew to Syria to join ISIS

Yahya Rashid has been jailed for five years

Yahya Rashid has been jailed for five years - Credit: Archant

A Willesden teenager with an IQ of just 65 who blew his fraudulently claimed student loan on a trip to Syria to join ISIS has been jailed for five years.

Yahya Rashid, 19, raised the funds for his airfare by blagging his way on to a course to study Middlesex University using a forged certificate for a BTech level 3 diploma.

The former Alperton Community School pupil then used his student loan to fly to Turkey so he could help four companions travel to war-torn Syria with him in February.

He was able to outfox a suspicious police officer at Gatwick Airport with his pals Khalid Abdul-Rahman and Ibrahim Amouri by claiming 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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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.

He had denied the charges and was convicted last week.

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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.

Yesterday. he was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court and was also handed a 15-year Notification Requirement under Part 4 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.

Commander Richard Walton, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), said: “The sentence demonstrates the seriousness with which the courts are taking terrorism offences. Rashid prepared to join the proscribed terrorist group - Islamic State - and assisted others in their preparation to travel to Syria too. He did make the right decision eventually to return to his family but had by then committed a terrorist offence.”

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