Zakariya Ashiq
Zakariya Ashiq was found guilty of assisting would-be soldiers travel to Syria to join the ranks of IsisWest Midlands Police

Failed Islamic State (Isis) extremist Zakariya Ashiq has been jailed at the Old Bailey after he desperately tried to join friends in Syria fighting for the terror group.

Ashiq, 20, of Foleshill in Coventry, was jailed for six years after he was found guilty at the same court on Tuesday (27 May).

The radical was also found guilty of assisting others to prepare for terrorism in a week-long trial.

During the trial, jurors heard how Ashiq fled to the civil war-torn country in May 2014 but failed in his attempt to join IS and was arrested at Heathrow Airport last November when he returned to the UK.

He went there to join friends Ali Kalantar and Mohammed Ismail and their friend Rashid Amani – all of whom are also from Coventry – and had travelled from Amsterdam via Frankfurt and Bulgaria to Jordan when he then attempted to cross the border into Syria, but was unsuccessful.

The trio were believed to be engaged in fighting there and Kalantar and Amani have since been reported as being killed in the bloodshed.

When questioned by police about his travel, the former tyre factory worker said he had no desire to join IS and that his friend Ismail was "an idiot" for signing up to the terror network.

However, evidence found on Ashiq's phone included numerous WhatsApp recordings he had tried to delete that he had sent to his friends describing the intense efforts he was making to join them and asking for their help in getting him across the border.

The jury was played the recordings, one of which featured Ashiq saying: "The second I get a chance I am doing Martyrdom," and, "there is no life without Jihad."