‚Fanatic‘ Briton Who Craved IS Martyrdom Jailed

Zakariya Ashiq wanted to follow two friends across the Syrian border Image: SkyNews
In messages to two friends who had already gone to Syria, Zakariya Ashiq said „there is no life without Jihad,“ a court hears.


A young British Muslim who had ambitions of becoming a martyr has been jailed following an unsuccessful attempt to join Islamic State in Syria.

Zakariya Ashiq began his journey to the Middle East on 6 November 2014, taking a bus from Victoria Coach Station in London.

The Old Bailey heard how the 20-year-old travelled through Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Bulgaria before arriving in Jordan, where he was turned away at the Syrian border.

He was arrested on 20 November after flying back to Heathrow.

Although Ashiq had admitted trying to cross into Syria, he claimed he had no choice but to leave the UK because he was being „pestered“ by MI5, and had been „waterboarded“ on several occasions by men in balaclavas who bundled him into a white van.

During the trial, his version of events was described as a „fantastical tale“ by his own lawyer.

Judge Charles Wide QC rejected the argument that Ashiq, from Coventry, was naïve in his intent to fight as an Islamic State militant – and during sentencing, said „it would not be right to see (Ashiq) as some sort of victim“.

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