Crime & the Law

Student at Birbeck College jailed for attempting to join ISIL in Syria

A student at Birbeck College, University of London, has been jailed for three and a half years for planning to join rebel forces in Syria.

David Souaan, 20, originally from Serbia, was convicted in December at the Old Bailey of preparing for acts of terrorism.

David Souaan jailed at the Old Bailey

David Souaan, 20, a Serbian student living in Camden convicting of preparing terrorism. Image: Met Police

The court heard that he wanted the black flag of the Islamic State to fly over Downing Street.

The prosecution said he had visited Syria in December 2013, after which he returned to the UK and showed off pictures of himself posing with guns in the country.

He was arrested on his way back to Syria at Heathrow Airport on May 31st last year.

Police seized his laptop and phone and found pictures, videos and documents revealing his ‘extremist sympathies.’

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC said one video clip on his phone was “so graphic and so shocking” that it could not be played in court.

Commander Richard Walton, of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command said:

Officers stopped Souaan as he was attempting to leave the country. Souaan had an active interest in Syria and was set on fighting there. Thankfully, he was stopped by those around him who reported his change in behaviour and extremist views.

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