Wannabe terrorist, 28, who used his student loan and carer’s allowance to fund failed bid to join Syrian jihadi training camp is jailed for 12 years
- Mamun Rashid, who attempted to join jihadi camp, has been jailed for 12 years
- Rashid, from London, funded terror plot with student loan and carer’s allowance
- He flew from London to Istanbul and spent six months trying to get into Syria
- He was near the north Syrian border when he was caught by authorities in 2019
A wannabe terrorist who used his student loan and carer’s allowance to fund his failed attempt to join a Syrian jihadi training camp has been jailed for 12 years.
Mamun Rashid, from Whitechapel, east London, partly funded a terror plot with his student loan – but did not attend lectures or complete any coursework – and state benefits for being his mother’s registered carer.
Rashid, 28, flew from London to Istanbul in July 2018, where he spent six months hatching a plan to try and enter Syria to fight the government, Woolwich Crown Court heard.
He was within walking distance of the north Syrian border when he was caught by Turkish authorities in February 2019, the court was told.
Rashid pleaded guilty to one count of preparing acts of terrorism, having initially denied the offence upon being deported to the UK.
His Honour Judge Andrew Lees on Thursday gave Rashid an extended sentence of 12 years and three months in prison, with a further five years on licence.
Mamun Rashid (pictured), 28, from London, has been jailed for 12 years after using his student loan and carer’s allowance to fund his failed attempt to join a Syrian jihadi training camp
Speaking to Rashid, the judge said: ‘When you were 23 years old you started corresponding with a friend about an ‘amazing idea’ you said Allah had given you.
‘You described yourself as being ‘crazy enough to go through with it’ for the sake of Allah.
‘You described yourself as having constant thoughts of dying in the cause of Allah.
‘You lamented the plight of Muslims elsewhere in the world while you enjoyed the luxuries of your life in London.
‘You said you felt like a hypocrite until Allah saved you, and that now you felt like a king.’
The judge said he was unable to verify Rashid’s claims in custody that he no longer had the same extremist mindset.
Prosecutor Paul Jarvis said Rashid wanted to get into Syria, which has been mired in a civil war since 2011, to fight the government, which has been led by president Bashar Al Assad since 2000.
He added: ‘From his early twenties, he [Rashid] took an interest in the plight of Muslims in Syria, and blamed Bashar for their suffering.’
Rashid, 28, spent six months in Istanbul hatching a plan to enter Syria to fight the government before being caught by Turkish authorities in 2019, Woolwich Crown Court (pictured) heard
Mr Jarvis said Rashid began talking about his plans with others, telling one, ‘I hope I can be the best martyr’ before adding, ‘I need to reach the blessed land’.
Rashid was briefly kicked out of his family home by his father, who suspected him of being a terrorist, before relenting and allowing him to return, the court heard.
He flew to Istanbul in July 2018 and spent several months trying to find a way into Syria.
Rashid eventually caught a bus to Hatay Province, in the south-west of Turkey, where he was caught and detained for 282 days before being deported.
Mr Jarvis said: ‘But for his apprehension, it is very likely he would have carried out that intention of joining a terrorist group.’
His defence team said Rashid had no plan to join Isis or any other specific terror organisation, describing his plan as ‘staggeringly amateurish’.
Rashid was handed an extended sentence of 12 years and three months in prison, with five years on licence.
He will serve a minimum of two-thirds of his jail term in custody, before being released with conditions for the remainder of the sentence.
His total sentence, including the extended licence period, will be 17 years and nine months.