Syria terrorism accused Eamon Bradley 'fought IS'

Eamon Bradley arriving at court
Image caption Mr Bradley arriving at court on Tuesday

The trial is under way of a Londonderry man accused of terrorist charges linked to the civil war in Syria.

Eamon Bradley, 28, whose bail address was given as the Benview Estate in the Coshquinn area of the city, faces six charges, all of which he denies.

They include attending terrorist training camps and receiving training in the use of guns and grenades.

The case at Londonderry Crown Court is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The offences are alleged to have been committed between 31 March and 29 October 2014. Mr Bradley was arrested in October 2014 on his return home from Syria.

'Fought against IS'

Mr Bradley had admitted in police interviews to travelling to Syria, through Turkey, in an effort to overthrow the regime of president Bashar al-Assad, said a prosecution barrister.

He said the defendant joined a group called Jaysh al-Islam, adding that he had received training in an arms camp in the use of an AK-47 assault rifle and Russian made machine guns.

The defendant had also admitted to detectives that he took part in three battles, two against President Assad's forces and one against the so-called Islamic State group, said the prosecution.

However, the court heard he later became disillusioned with the fighting and in July 2014 returned to the family home at Melmore Gardens in Derry.

Image caption The trial is the first of its kind to be held in Northern Ireland

When asked by detectives why he had become disillusioned in Syria, Mr Bradley said he was not sure but that it may have been because of the bombs.

During the interviews, he denied that he had been tasked to carry out any work in Northern Ireland and that he considered the use of weapons the only way to solve the Syrian problem, the court heard.

He told the police that he remained proud of his involvement with anti-government forces but that the group which he joined did not believe in exporting its "holy war" to non-Muslim countries.

On Tuesday afternoon, the jury heard details of searches at his home at Melmore Gardens in Creggan in July and November 2014, where between 50 and 60 items were seized and photographed.

These included phones, laptops rucksacks, Arabic bank notes and phrase book as well as a copy of the Quran and a prayer mat.

The case has now adjourned for the day.

Image caption Mr Bradley was arrested on his return from Syria in 2014