Willesden teen on trial accused of flying to Syria to join ISIS

Yahya Rashid is on trial

Yahya Rashid is on trial - Credit: Archant

A teenager from Willesden with ‘below average intelligence’ conned his way into university before blowing his student loan on a trip to join ISIS, a court heard today.

Yahya Rashid, 19, blagged his way on to a course to study electronics at Middlesex University using a forged certificate for a BTech level 3 diploma.

The student, who left Alperton Community School with six GCSEs, then used cash meant to fund his studies to buy plane tickets to Turkey from holiday website lastminute.com.

Rashid and four companions stayed at an ISIS safe house before they were due to be taken over the border into war-torn Syria to join the barbaric Islamic State, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

But the youngster got cold feet and returned to the UK while his fellow jihadis, Khaild Abdul-Rahman, Ibrahim Amouri, Swaleh Mohammed and his wife, Deqo Osman, remain in the Syrian warzone, it is claimed.

Rashid was arrested at Luton Airport on 31 March this year.

Prosecutor Mark Weekes said: “It does not matter whether or not Mr Rashid went into Syria.

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“That was a preparatory act to going, and when he did it he intended, in the future, to commit an act or acts of terrorism by fighting alongside IS.”

Mr Weekes told jurors: “You may conclude that Mr Rashid not only knew what type of organisation ISIS was, but that he wanted to join it knowing it was a fighting force.”

The court was told Rashid pleaded guilty to fraud after he was accepted into university on the basis of a forged BTech level 3 diploma.

He denies preparing to commit an act of terrorism between 1 November 2014 and 31 March 2015 and a charge of assisting others to commits acts of terrorism over the same period.

The trial continues.