Aspiring IS soldier told cop about his plan

Ghulam Hussain, of Track Road, Batley, has been sentenced to six years for terrorism offences
Ghulam Hussain, of Track Road, Batley, has been sentenced to six years for terrorism offences

A father of two from north Kirklees who told an undercover police officer he intended to join Islamic State (IS) and fight in Syria has been jailed for six years.

Ghulam Hussain, 31, bought plane tickets with the intention of travelling to Syria and said he would rather die than return to the UK.

He gave the officer £160 to pay for his accommodation on his journey to join Daesh and made plans to meet him in Turkey.

He earlier admitted engaging in preparation for committing an act of terrorism and engaging in conduct with the intention of assisting another person to commit an act of terrorism.

He was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court last Friday.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, said: “It was your intention to go abroad, it was your intention to take up arms and to kill and you did encourage the undercover officer to do the same as you. You did have a commitment to travel to Syria, to join Daesh, to fight and give your life.”

The court heard that Hussain, of Track Road, Batley, spent £390 on tickets to Pakistan via Istanbul.

The defendant, of Pakistani origin, claimed he was visiting family and stopping in Turkey for dental treatment, but intended to “disappear” in Istanbul and travel to Syria.

He met the undercover officer at a retail park in the East Midlands on October 6 last year and audio and video recordings were made of their conversations.

Simon Davis, prosecuting, told the court that Hussain told the officer he had been making plans to travel to Syria for the past 12 months and would give a pledge of allegiance to IS when he arrived.

Mr Davis said: “He said he would rather take a bullet than come back to this dump.

“He wanted to fight. When he got out there, he intended to fight, he wanted to train.”

The prosecutor said Hussain told the officer they would get to handle a weapon when they got there and would fight the non-believers.

The court heard that he gave the officer advice about social media, where to book accommodation in Istanbul, travel times to the Syrian border and clothing needed for the journey.

He also told him he had obtained credit by lying about his income and said he was withdrawing money against the cards and not paying the balance.

In mitigation, Abdul Iqbal said there may be a difference between the defendant’s intentions and what he had the capacity to achieve.

He described “family man” Hussain as of “low average intelligence”. Hussain will serve half his sentence before being released on licence.

Speaking after the case Det Supt Simon Atkinson of the North East Counter Terrorism unit said the investigation had been “detailed and thorough”.