British student receives jail term over plans to join ISIS
The 20-year-old comes from a wealthy family in Serbia and was a student at Birkbeck College
A British student has been sentenced to three-and-half years for planning to join militants fighting in Syria, the Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday.
David Souaan, who reportedly wanted to fly the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group over Downing Street, was found guilty of “preparing for terrorist acts” in war-torn Syria, the newspaper said.
The 20-year-old comes from a wealthy family in Serbia and was a student at Birkbeck College.
After a trial at the Old Bailey in London, the prosecution said Souaan visited Syria in December 2013 and he was arrested at Heathrow airport in May last year on his way back to fight.
Judge Peter Rook said that Souaan’s young age and “immaturity” made him “vulnerable to extremist views.”
Souaan’s praise for ISIS occured before the militant group’s real character was clear, the judge said in statements quoted by the Guardian.
Souaan’s lawyer called for leniency in dealing with his defendant’s case.
He said the 20-year-old was an “emotionally immature and naive” man who was “vulnerable” to such extremist ideology “because of the ‘loneliness and isolation’ he felt as a foreign student in London,” the newspaper added.