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Moazzam Begg denies terror offences in Syria

Moazzam Begg will stand trial for alleged terror offences in Syria in October.
Moazzam Begg will stand trial for alleged terror offences in Syria in October. Credit: PA

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has pleaded not guilty to seven terror offences connected with the civil war in Syria.

The 45-year-old appeared via video link from prison to deny the charges.

Begg, of Hall Green, Birmingham, is accused of attending a terrorist training camp in Syria October 2012 and April 2013 and funding terrorism by providing a generator in July last year.

He also faces five counts of possessing an article for a purpose connecting to terrorism between December 31, 2012 and February 26 this year.

Begg will stand trial at the Old Bailey on October 6

More than £8000 raised in the West Midlands for Cakes4Syria campaign

Cake deliveries take place until 27 or 28 July
Cake deliveries take place until 27 or 28 July Credit: Twitter/@Cakes4Syria

Young Muslim volunteers have been raising money for Syrian refugees by running a cake delivery service.

The 'Cakes for Syria' campaign is taking place throughout the month of Ramadan and they have already exceeded their £25,000 target.

The West Midlands alone has sold 1741 cakes with £8.705 raised so far for the campaign.

Cakes can be ordered by calling anytime the Cakes4Syria call centre on 01274 952144 or texting 07511724372 (12 noon - 8pm).

Cakes cost £10 with £5 going towards Islamic Relief's Syria appeal.

Deliveries take place on Sundays and Thursdays until 27 or 28 July which heralds the end of Ramadan.

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Mugshots of Birmingham terror pair released

Mugshots of two men from Birmingham who travelled to Syria to fight have been released after they earlier admitted preparing to carry out terrorist attacks.

Childhood friends Mohammed Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Zubair Sarwar, both 22, spent eight months in Syria last year, before being arrested at Heathrow Airport on their return home in January.

West Midlands Police released images of the pair posing with rifles during their visit to the war-torn country.

Mohammed Nahin Ahmed. Credit: West Midlands Police
Yusuf Sarwar. Credit: West Midlands Police

Read: Families of both men pleaded with them to return from Syria

National

Judge delays sentencing in Birmingham terror case

Nahin Ahmed holding a toy gun - pre travel to Syria - in an image taken from his computer. Credit: West Midlands Police

Judge Topolski QC has said he would not pass sentence on the two men until a Court of Appeal decision about a similar case had been heard later this summer.

However, sentencing is due to open this afternoon.

The judge earlier told the court that he was willing to offer a reduction in sentence if the defendants were to plead guilty.

He described the case as a "grave one".

More: Syria terror men told parents they were on holiday in Turkey

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Families of both men urged them to return from Syria

Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Zubair Sarwar Credit: West Midlands Police

The families of Mohammed Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Zubair Sarwar urged both men to return home when they realised they had gone to fight in Syria.

Sarwar's family reported him missing to police in May last year after they found a hand-written letter from him in which said he had left to join a terrorist group called Kataib al Muhajireen (KaM)- later renamed Kateeba al-Kawthar - "to do jihad".

Part of Sawar's letter to his family in which he says he is going to wage Jihad in Syria. Credit: West Midlands Police

Days earlier he had told his family he was travelling to Turkey as part of a two-week trip organised by Birmingham City University, where he was a part-time computer science student.

West Midlands Police said the men showed the mind-set to go and join the jihad in Syria, before carrying out research, buying equipment, and finally travelling a well-trod route to get inside the battle zone via Turkey.

More: Birmingham men posed with rifles during visit to Syria

Police release chilling photos of Syria terror pair

Sawar brandishing a gun during training in Syria Credit: West Midlands Police
This picture of Ahmed was found on the pair's return to the UK Credit: West Midlands Police
Surveillance footage of the pair arriving at Heathrow before they set off for Turkey Credit: West Midlands Police
Ahmed on his return to the UK in January, with his beard shaved off Credit: West Midlands Police

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Syria terror men lied they were on holiday in Turkey

Yusuf Sarwar and Nahin Ahmed of Farcroft Avenue - both aged 22 - pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court today. Credit: West Midlands Police

Two young men from Birmingham who have pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism while in Syria, had lied to their parents they were actually on holiday in Turkey.

Yusuf Sarwar and Nahin Ahmed, who are both 22 and from Handsworth, bought one-way tickets in May 2013 then crossed the Syrian border to train with rebel fighters.

They were arrested by officers from the West Midlands Police counter terrorism unit when they returned to Heathrow on a flight from Istanbul in January this year.

Traces of military grade explosives were found on their clothing and pictures on their camera showed them brandishing weapons.

Birmingham men plead guilty to Syria terror charges

Two men from Handsworth in Birmingham have pleaded guilty to terrorism charges after spending time in Syria.

Yusef Sarwar and Nahin Ahme, both 22, were arrested when they returned to Heathrow on a flight from Istanbul in January this year.

They were charged with engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts having spent eight months in Syria to join rebel fighters.

The trial at Woolwich Crown Court was scheduled to last three weeks, but today the pair pleaded guilty.

Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit plea to stop young people travelling to fight jihad

by Andy Bevan
Head of West Midlands CTU, Det Chief Supt Sue Southern Credit: ITV News Central

The Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Southern, has addressed Imams and religious leaders at Birmingham Central Mosque. She has made a plea to Muslim leaders and families to stop young people travelling to fight jihad.

She said: "Is it worse to be in prison (if arrested and convicted of terrorism offences) in this country or to be trapped out there with no chance of coming back?"

Mashuq Ally, Director of equalities and human resources at Birmingham City Council, said: "Many young British men end up being hostage to the militia groups they went to help."

Meeting in Birmingham to discuss Syrian conflict

The Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit is today meeting with Imams and religious leaders to discuss conflicts in Syria.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Southern will address the audience at Birmingham Central Mosque.

Safeguarding young people who may be persuaded to travel Syria will also be discussed.

In April, police appealed to Muslim women to come forward if they had concerns over male relatives travelling to Syria to fight.

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