Acocks Green man jailed for trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS - The Solihull Observer

Acocks Green man jailed for trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS

Solihull Editorial 8th Nov, 2016 Updated: 8th Nov, 2016   0

AN ACOCKS Green man who was stopped at Dover trying to leave the country to join ISIS been sentenced to five years behind bars.

Anas Abdalla, aged 26 of Fox Hollies Road, was found guilty of trying to travel to Syria to engage is terrorism at the Old Bailey in London following a six week trial.

A second man, Gabriel Rasmus, aged 29 from Chain Walk, Lozells, pleaded guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing and was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

The court heard how Abdalla and Rasmus planned their travel to Syria in a bid to join Islamist rebel forces, but were both arrested at the Port of Dover in Kent at 7.45am on April 3 last year.




A third man, Mahamuud Diini, was also arrested and charged but was found not guilty earlier this year.

The duo had travelled to London in a taxi, meeting up with the lorry driver in a lay-by before hiding in the back of the lorry in an attempt to smuggle themselves out of the country.


The lorry the men were found hiding in. s

The lorry the men were found hiding in. s

But their plan was foiled when detectives instructed ports officers to check the lorry, they were found lying on the floor dressed in winter coats and clutching rucksacks.

Their meticulous travel plans were evidenced by Rasmus’ recently purchased outdoor equipment – including walking boots, night scope telescope, a compass, head torch, a route planner, vitamins and thermal drink flask.

Following their arrests, searches at their homes also revealed extremist ideological material on computers and USB’s as well as evidence of a number of online searches they had undertaken to help them plan.

Assistant Chief Constable and counter terrorism lead for West Midlands Police, Marcus Beale, said he hoped Abdalla and Rasmus’ sentencing sent a ‘clear message’ to deter others from joining ISIS forces.

He explained: “As part of this investigation, extensive surveillance and undercover activity was used.

“They were unknowingly being monitored by our officers who swooped as they attempted to leave the port.

“We will use every lawful technique and power available to us to prevent people from travelling to Syria.”

Some of the outdoor equipment found in their rucksacks which proved their meticulous travel plans. s

Some of the outdoor equipment found in their rucksacks which proved their meticulous travel plans. s

Counter terrorism detectives believe that once in Europe their plan was to travel through Albania or Bulgaria to Greece, Turkey and into Syria.

As Chf Cons Beale urged anyone who is concerned that a friend or family member is thinking of travelling to Syria, or any other conflict zone, to contact police as soon as possible.

He added: “Police and other agencies can offer support to help safeguard those who are vulnerable to radicalisers.

“The sooner we can intervene, the better chance we have of preventing people from becoming embroiled in the conflict and facing potential prosecution.”

Anyone concerned about someone showing signs of being radicalised or travelling to, or returning from, Syria should contact their local police on 101 or visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk to access relevant support and advice.

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