LONDON: A chemistry teacher was jailed for six years in Britain on Thursday for trying to join Islamic State jihadists fighting in Syria, against the wishes of his family who desperately tried to stop him.
Jamshed Javeed, 30, one of a group of radicalised Muslims from Manchester in northwest England, was arrested in December 2013 as he was about to travel to the Middle East – after helping his younger brother and three others make the same trip.
At the high-security Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London, judge Michael Topolski said Javeed was “adherent to a violent jihadist mindset” and should be considered “dangerous”.
The teacher pleaded guilty in October to two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, but insisted he was not an extremist and had never supported the aims of IS “as now revealed and understood”, the court heard.
But Topolski told Javeed he was “not satisfied that you reject its ultimate aims”.
The judge said: “You had become sufficiently radicalised and committed to a violent jihadist ideology that you were part of a group of young men determined to travel to Syria to join ISIS (Islamic State) and to fight and die for them.”
He said Javeed ignored the pleas of his wife and family and persisted even after they had hidden his passport and his equipment such as solar chargers.
“Even the prospect of becoming a father did not deter you,” said the judge.
“You were not planning to return to this country… but rather to die, if you could, as a martyr.
“Whether you believed you were fighting in a just cause is irrelevant. The law is clear: this was terrorism.”
The court heard how his wife´s revelation that she was pregnant with their daughter did not deter Javeed.
In a text message, she had said: “Jamshed, you refuse to take on board anyone´s opinion unless I´ve got a gun and I´m in Syria.”
Police praised his family´s “brave steps” in trying to thwart his plans.
Javeed was among a group of young Muslim men from Manchester who became radicalised in 2013. His brother and two of the three other men he helped go to the Middle East have not been heard of since. The other one is confirmed dead.