Sheffield man to be sentenced for terrorism offence

A Sheffield man who attempted to join Islamic State fighters in Iraq is to be sentenced for a terrorism offence today.

Tuesday, 3rd January 2017, 8:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 2:50 am
Sheffield man to be sentenced for terrorism offence

Shivan Azeez Zangana, 21, who goes by Azeez, of Washington Road, Sharrow, Sheffield, was found guilty, along with 26-year-old Aras Hamid, of preparing acts of terrorism.

Hamid was also found guilty of assisting another in the commission of terrorist acts.

A third man, Ahmed Ismail, 19, was convicted of failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

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They are to appear before Kingston Crown Court for sentencing today.

At the start of their trial in November, prosecutor Robin Sellers told the jury the three men were involved in a 'concerted attempt' to leave the country and further terrorist activities either themselves or by aligning themselves under the 'so-called Islamic State'.

He said Hamid, of no fixed address, played the 'leading role' and was the common link between the other two and while all three were 'Kurdish in origin', Ismail had been naturalised and was a British citizen.

The offences took place in mid-2016 and included a meeting between Ismail, of Portwrinkle Avenue, Coventry, and Hamid in Coventry on May 10.

Three days later various people called 999 to express fears that Azeez, from Sheffield, was planning to leave the UK - prompting the authorities to try to locate him.

Azeez left his brother's home in Sheffield the same day and met Hamid in Birmingham, with the pair later visiting a travel agent to buy a plane ticket for Azeez to travel to an airport in Iraq from Gatwick.

On May 17, officers from the West Midlands counter terrorism unit found the duo sleeping as they executed a warrant at the Al Noor Mosque in Birmingham in the early hours of the morning, arresting Azeez and seizing items from Hamid.

Hamid was eventually detained two days later when he was discovered hiding in the back of a lorry travelling on the A2 at around 2am.

Mr Sellers said: "The Crown says he was trying to leave the UK covertly, in effect being smuggled out."

The prosecutor added that around this time, Ismail, who was also arrested on May 22, decided not to travel because he feared his brother was in a 'precarious position' with his IS masters and was suspected of being a spy.