Jihadist who slipped back into UK to become engineering student jailed for ten years
Mohammed Yamin, 26, of Clapton in London was stopped on his return to Britain but continued with his studies at City University. A former classmate reported him to the police after seeing him on a Vice documentary and the police were able to used voice recognition technology to recognise him. At the Old Bailey, he pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism by travelling to Syria and being a member of a proscribed organisation in 2013.
Yamin appeared in recruitment videos taken in the Middle East.
He bought equipment, clothing and a one-way flight ticket as well onward travel to Syria.
He spent nearly a year with al-Qaeda’s franchise in Syria, then called Jabhat al-Nusra, and appeared in a documentary warning “normal folk” in the UK would “take the blame for the crimes that are committed worldwide by Britain”.
In 2014 at Heathrow, he was arrested on suspicion of delivering clothes to a jihadist in Syria but he was not charged.
He reportedly returned to the UK after he had become “disillusioned” with Syria.
Judge Mark Dennis, QC, said: “However much you may now regret your actions it was at the end of the day your own decision freely made that led you to offend in the way you did.”
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Yasmin was studying for a four-year master’s degree in civil engineering while volunteering for a charity called Engineers without Borders.
In 2017 police spotted Yamin acting suspiciously around Whitehall.
The police made the link between the incident and the Vice video, which showed a masked Yamin in the Idlib region of Syria with a group of men who had pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.
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WhatsApp messages from the period show Yamin telling family members he was doing charitable work, with one message saying “I’ve seen death in his face and I am after him here in the land of Syria”.
Mitigating, Hussein Zahir QC told the court Yamin’s viability as a “combatant” was limited by the fact he was deaf in one ear, blind in one eye and asthmatic.
He said the defendant had “completely rejected” his previous mindset who was “deeply remorseful for what he has done”.
The court heard the video in which Yamin appeared remained available to view on YouTube.
The government has said that more than 900 people of “national security concern” joined the conflict in Syria and that, of these, approximately 40 percent have returned to the UK of whom around 40 have been charged with criminal offences.
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