'The angels' told me to go to Syria, terror accused tells UK court

'The angels' told me to go to Syria, terror accused tells UK court

A former gifted student has denied trying to become an Islamic State fighter and told jurors he only wanted to go to Syria to exorcise "jinns".

Avid computer gamer and straight A student Mubashir Jamil, 22, was allegedly radicalised from surfing the web and became obsessed with images of "martyrdom".

He was snared by an undercover police officer posing as an agent from the so-called 'Islamic State' group as he prepared to leave his home in Luton for Syria, the Old Bailey in London has heard.

In encrypted chats via the Telegram app, Jamil allegedly told the officer he would strap on an explosive belt in the UK if he could not be an IS fighter in the war-torn state.

But the ex-Amazon warehouse worker told his trial he only said he wanted to be a mujahideen as a way into Syria for an exorcism.

Giving evidence, he told jurors he wanted "to get rid of the jinns" and then return to England after about five days.

He said: "I wanted to come back after the exorcism but if the exorcism could not be done I would have killed myself."

Cross-examining, Barnaby Jameson said: "You are a Muslim. There are certain laws about suicide. It's forbidden.

"What you say is nothing about suicide at all, it's about martyrdom."

Jamil replied: "No, I wanted them to think I would fight for them so they would let me into Syria."

Mr Jameson quizzed the defendant on what he would have told IS members, had he been successful.

The lawyer said: "You knew very well who this group was, didn't you?

"You knew they are responsible for murder and other atrocities but the jinns are telling you it has to be Isis in Syria?"

Jamil agreed he knew about the group but told jurors it was "the angels" telling him to go.

He would have told IS "the jinns are telling me to do things", the defendant added.

However, Jamil accepted he was "talking entirely coherently" throughout his chats with the officer, as he reported back on buying his luggage and airline ticket in the days before his arrest in April last year.

Mr Jameson pointed out he never searched his computer for the word "jinn" but had instead watched a number of YouTube videos featuring someone being killed, Osama Bin Laden and Taliban fighting.

Jamil, who was born in Pakistan but brought up in Britain, denies a charge of preparing for terrorist acts.

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