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Humza Ali found guilty of wanting to travel to Syria – BBC News

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Photos of Humza Ali, (centre), Mohammed Ali Ahmed (right) and Gabriel Rasmus (far right) were found on Ali’s phone

A student who trained for terrorist combat at a paintballing centre has been found guilty of trying to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

Humza Ali, 20, posed for photos, alongside three other men linked to the extremist organisation, at Delta Force paintballing in Solihull.

Ali, who told a friend he would “fight and die” for IS, flew to Turkey in January 2015 but was turned back, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

He will be sentenced in January.

The would-be fighter, of Bromford Lane, Ward End, Birmingham, had denied dissemination of terrorist material and trying to travel to Syria for terrorist purposes.

Ali, who was covertly recorded telling another IS sympathiser his mother had confiscated his passport. shared videos of beheadings and other IS atrocities online.

More updates on this and other stories in Birmingham

Co-defendant Ali Akbar Zeb, 19, from Northleigh Road, Birmingham, admitted three counts of distributing extremist literature by sharing graphic images and videos via a WhatsApp group to promote IS at the beginning of the trial.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Humza Ali has been convicted at Birmingham Crown Court

Jurors heard Ali posed for the “promotional” photos alongside Mohammed Ali Ahmed, from Small Heath, Gabriel Rasmus, from Lozells, and Abdelatif Gaini at the paintballing centre in June 2014.

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said the pictures – found on Ali’s phone – showed the men dressed in quasi-combat gear while holding paintball guns.

“It was a bonding act of preparation between men of like mind and like intent. They were doing what passed, in their limited circumstances, for training,” she said.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Ali Zeb admitted distributing extremist literature at the start of the trial

Ali intended to join the IS group in Syria when he travelled to Turkey seven months later.

An “occasional paintballing session with friends is ideal, however bizarre that may seem”, she said.

“If you step back you will understand that for an inexperienced but committed young man like Humza Ali, who intends to leave his Western urban life for war in the Middle East, the opportunities for handling anything remotely resembling a type of firearm are extremely limited,” she added.

Rasmus was jailed in November for preparing for acts of terrorism after he attempted to travel to Syria.

Ahmed, who was tried separately, was jailed for eight years on Monday for his part in handing 3,000 to Brussels attacks suspect “man in the hat” Mohamed Abrini.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Humza Ali also sent abusive text messages to a local councillor, the court heard

Mr Gaini is thought to be in Syria.

Police have released the images after reporting restrictions were lifted following the conclusion of the trial.

Ali was also found guilty of sending malicious communications after directing “abusive” anti-democracy messages at a local councillor after making his way back to the UK from Istanbul via Ireland.

Originally found athttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk