Blackburn Islamic State (IS) convert Ednane Mahmood watched video clips of executions and vowed to wage war in the name of Allah before fleeing to Syria in a failed bid to join the terror group. The 19-year-old, of Plane Street, was found guilty of disseminating a terrorist publication and engaging in conduct in preparation of acts of terrorism following a 12-day trial.
In the early hours of 18 September 2014, Mahmood left his home in Blackburn and travelled from Manchester Airport to Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. He travelled by bus to Turkey to a town near the Syrian border, where on 20 September he tried to make contact with a number of people asking for urgent help, including one man who he believed was fighting in Syria at the time.
Mahmood's requests went unanswered and the next day, following an exchange of messages with his family, they persuaded him to travel back to the UK. Mahmood travelled back to Manchester Airport from Turkey on 21 September 2014.
An examination of a computer showed that before leaving the UK, he had actively searched for online and watched a large number of IS (Daesh) videos, including executions of soldiers and hostages. He shared some of these publications online and one month before his failed jihad he posted an image on his Facebook page that contained the words, "I wish I could fight in the cause of Allah and then be killed, and then fight, and then be killed, and then fight, and then be killed."
Mahmood had also researched different ways of travelling to Syria and nearby destinations, and how to gain access to these countries. A letter was found by police that Mahmood had left for his family, detailing his belief in jihad and that he had left them to fight and die for this cause. He was arrested for terrorism offences.
Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "Prior to leaving the UK to try and gain entry to Syria, it was clear from Mahmood's actions that he was a strong supporter of the ISIS cause and was intent on joining this terrorist group in Syria. He did not tell his family anything about his plans and once they learned of his whereabouts, they did everything they could to persuade him to come home. Thankfully within this three day period, Mahmood had not been successful in his efforts to cross the border to Syria."