Extremist brothers jailed over Syria camp attendance

Two “extremist” brothers who took photographs and videos of their trip to Syria to attend a terrorist training camp have been jailed.

Hamza Nawaz, 24, and Mohommod Nawaz, 30, had admitted going to the camp in August last year and were caught by police at Calais as they tried to return home just weeks later.

The younger brother was jailed for three years at the Old Bailey while the older sibling, “the prime instigator” of the plan, who was on licence at the time and brought home AK-47 ammunition as a “trophy”, was sent down for four-and-a-half years.

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The judge Christopher Moss QC told them: “You were in training both of you while you were there to support the rebel fighting in Syria. In fairness to you both there is no evidence of you actually engaged in such fighting.”

At an Old Bailey hearing in May both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to attend a place used for terrorist training between January 1 2012 and September 16 2013.

Mohommod Nawaz also pleaded guilty to having ammunition without a firearms certificate in relation to the ‘’trophy’’ bullets found in the gun. The maximum sentence for attending a terrorist training camp is 10 years in jail.

Prosecutor Kate Wilkinson said the family of the brothers reported them missing on August 25 last year after they failed to come home from a night out in Walthamstow, east London.

They claimed they had gone to Scotland to do charity work despite a text from Hamza to say: “we’ve left to come to Syria. We know everyone will be angry with what we’ve done but its something we wanted to do.”

Ms Wilkinson suggested the reason why they did not want to tell family what they were doing was because Mohommod was on licence at the time having been jailed for six years in 2009 for blackmail, false imprisonment, kidnap and wounding.

The court heard they were stopped at Calais on a ferry back to the UK on September 13 last year. A search of their car uncovered five 39mm rifle cartridges for use in an AK-47 type rifle, mobile phones, a balaclava, heavy duty clothes and travel documents.

Details of their travel plans to go by car to Lyon in France and then by air to Turkey bound for the Syrian border were found on a laptop in the bedroom of the older brother.

Police also uncovered 19 photographs and videos from their time in Syria on an iPhone, the court heard.