10:27 GMT +307 December 2019
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    British Man Allegedly Trained for Daesh by Paintballing, Court Hears

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    A British national, Humza Ali, is alleged to have gone paintballing in the UK, in preparation for joining Daesh (also known as ISIS and ISIL). The prosecution state that he also sent "abusive" and anti-democratic messages to a Labour councillor after making his way back to the UK from Turkey.

    UK Birmingham Crown Court was told how a 20-year-old trainee bricklayer, who denies distributing terrorist publications and attempting to travel to Syria for terrorist purposes, attended Delta Force paintballing in Hockley Heath, near Solihull in the UK, along with six others in 2014.

    Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC, alleged that the college student intended to travel to Syria to join Daesh seven months after the paintballing visit.

    ​Ali, from Birmingham, is also alleged to have sent numerous video messages to other men showing beheadings and atrocities carried out by the terror group.

    "He is charged with a number of different offenses, all of which, we say, reflect his radical interpretation of Islam," Ms. Whyte said as she addressed the court.

    "It is the prosecution case that Ali wanted to and tried to go to Syria to fight for Islamic State [Daesh]. You will hear that he also sent abusive messages to a local Labour councillor called Majid Mahmood, with the intention of bullying him into stepping down and away from impending political elections because, in Mr Ali's world view, there is no place for democratic processes,' Ms. Whyte added.

    It is alleged that on June 14, 2014, Ali was part of a group of men, who all panned to travel to Syria, however were stopped. 

    The prosecution stated that paintballing was an easy disguise for Humza as membership of a gun club might draw unwanted attention, but the occasional paintballing session with friends was ideal and enabled the participant to handle a weapon and to take broad aim.    

    Humza is not the only Brit to leave the UK and travel to Syria to fight with Daesh. There has been plenty of coverage for British jihadis who have fled the UK and joined Daesh.

    According to government figures, approximately 850 people from the UK have traveled to support or fight for jihadist organizations in Syria and Iraq. About half, have since returned to the UK.

    British government intelligence services are doing a cracking job at tracking and locating people who plan to go to the Middle East to fight alongside Daesh. However, with the terror group losing vital territory in Iraq and Syria, the worry is whether those UK nationals may return to Britain, and if they do, bring the Middle East war back home with them.

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    Tags:
    court case, Daesh militants, jihadists, paintball, prosecution, terrorism, The Syrian war, Daesh, Turkey, Syria, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Ireland
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