LONDON – A teacher whose family helped thwart his plans to travel to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State group was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday in a case that highlighted the struggles of parents trying to stop their children from being radicalized.
Alarmed at his transformation from science teacher to would-be jihadi, Jamshed Javeed's sister recorded family arguments in which he insists he will go to Syria. His family hid his iPad, his insect repellent, his money and finally his passport in a desperate attempt to thwart his travel in late 2013. After he applied for another passport, the police stopped him.
"It was clear from the evidence in this case that the family were absolutely set against him joining this terrorist group in Syria," Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole said. "They took (what) I consider to be some brave steps in terms of hiding his equipment ... And absolutely without doubt they confronted him on his desire to go out and expressed their desire that he does not travel and join this group."
Javeed insisted he was trying to help the people of Syria and never supported "the aims of Isis as now revealed and understood."
But Judge Michael Topolski was not satisfied that the 30-year-old had rejected "Isis's ultimate aims." He pointed out that Javeed intended to go even after learning his wife was pregnant.
"Even the prospect of becoming a father did not deter you," Topolski said. "I find that you were not planning to return to this country ... but rather to die, if you could, as a martyr."
British authorities have been appealing to families who have concerns about relatives joining Islamic State to contact police. The programs have been controversial because they pressure families to turn in their children.