England

Kurdish immigrants guilty of trying to join IS

Kingston Upon Thames Crown Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Two men were convicted of a plot join the Salahaddin Battalion, a Kurdish group fighting for IS

Two Kurdish immigrants have been found guilty of trying to join so-called Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq.

Aras Mohammed Hamid, 26, and Shivan Hayder Azeez Zangana, 21, known Azeez, were convicted at Kingston Crown Court of preparing acts of terrorism.

A third man, Ahmed Ismail, 19, was found guilty of failing to alert authorities to their plot to join the Salahaddin Battalion, a Kurdish group fighting for IS.

They will be sentenced on 3 January.

Hamid, of no fixed address, was also found guilty of assisting another in commission of terrorist acts.

He played the "leading role" and was the common link between the other two, prosecutor Robin Sellers told the jury.

The offences included a meeting between Hamid and Ismail in Coventry on 10 May 2016.

Three days later various people called 999 to express fears that Azeez was planning to leave the UK, prompting the authorities to try to locate him.

Azeez, from Washington Road, Sheffield, met Hamid in Birmingham on 13 May.

They went to a travel agent to buy a plane ticket for Azeez to travel to an airport in Iraq from Gatwick.

On 17 May, police found the pair sleeping at the Al Noor Mosque in Birmingham in the early hours of the morning.

Ismail of Portwrinkle Avenue, Coventry, was arrested five days later.

He had decided not to travel, because he feared his brother was in a "precarious position" with his IS masters and was suspected of being a spy, the court heard.

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