Coventry teenager jailed after planning to travel to Syria in support of Daesh - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

Coventry teenager jailed after planning to travel to Syria in support of Daesh

A COVENTRY teenager has been jailed after preparing to travel to Syria to fight in support of Daesh.

Sandeep Samra, aged 18 of Alder Road in Alderman’s Green, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this week to being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

Samra was handed a three-and-a-half year prison sentence on Friday, January 26, morning.

The teenager was arrested in July 2017 by officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU).

She was found to be in contact via social media apps with a number of unknown people abroad, where she openly discussed her support for Daesh and her desire to travel to the war zone.

Samra coverted to Islam, against her family’s wishes, in 2015.

Following concerns raised by her family about her ideology, she was referred to the Government’s Prevent programme in an attempt to divert her away from terrorism and violence. Her passport was also handed over to police by her family.

In June last year, Samra tried to apply for a new passport sparking further concerns that she was still intent on travelling.

But after pleading guilty, she claimed she planned to travel to be a nurse rather than commit violence.

However she was convicted of intending to commit terrorist acts by Judge Melbourne Inman after a trial of issue when her basis of plea was not accepted by the prosecution.

Head of WMCTU Chief Superintendent Matt Ward, said: “Samra’s phone was examined and officers found evidence of her support for Daesh and her intent on travelling to Syria or other areas controlled by Daesh.

“She dismissed warnings of the dangers for women in the conflict and even declared her intention to seek her own death.

“The contents gave insight into Samra’s mind-set and showed she was developing an active interest in Daesh and Jihadi ideology.

“She had several conversations on messaging apps over the fact her passport had been taken off her and sought help in getting a false one or even fake documentation that she could travel on.

“She also had conversations regarding ways in which she could be smuggled out of the country, how she could then make her way to Syria and the routes available to her.

“Police also uncovered conversations with a man who appeared to live in Egypt during which they declared their love for each other and a desire to get married. Once married they planned to travel to Syria to take part in Jihad.”

Anyone concerned about a friend or family member that is thinking of travelling to Syria should contact the police as soon as possible.

Chief Supt Ward continued: “The sooner we can intervene, the better chance we have of preventing people from becoming embroiled in the conflict and facing potential prosecution.

“We tried to support Samra through the Prevent programme and ultimately help her turn her life around, but unfortunately all efforts that were made were ignored by her and she now faces a prison sentence.”

Call 101 or visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk to access relevant support and advice.

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