A UK court has given a life sentence to Shabazz Suleman, a 27-year-old from High Wycombe, who went to Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIS) group almost 10 years ago. Judge Mark Lucraft of London’s Old Bailey criminal court said that Suleman joined an organisation that was banned under English law on purpose.
Judge Mark Lucraft said as he sentenced him, “You knew IS was an outlawed organisation in English law when you joined it in Syria.”
The judge also noted that Suleman’s intention was to become a sniper within ISIS.
“Your ambition was to become a sniper.”
He pleaded guilty last month to preparing for terrorism by travelling to Turkey from the UK in August 2014 at 18 years old, with the intention of joining ISIS in Syria. Suleman admitted it.
Suleman will serve at least nine years and six months under the life sentence.
How did he join ISIS at 18?
He vanished during a family trip in Turkey. According to AFP news agency, Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, is a common way for Western people who want to join jihadist groups in Syria.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said in court that Suleman was caught by Turkish forces when he tried to go to Syria, but later decided to join a prisoner swap with ISIS.
He posted about his experiences on social media and gave damning interviews to Sky News in Syria.
Shabazz Suleman’s charges and arrest He was arrested at Heathrow Airport and charged with many terror offences in September 2021, including training with firearms and belonging to a banned organisation.
Under the life sentence, he will serve a minimum of nine years and six months.