As one of the latest British nationals suspected of aiding and supporting Muslim extremism, a 19 year old North Londoner, Yahya Rashid, was arrested at Luton Airport on 31 March 2015 by officers in Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command.
Rashid was apprehended after returning to England on a flight from Istanbul. This Turkish city is a popular destination for alleged British jihadis as the country shares a common border with Syria where ISIS is currently engaged in fighting against various coalition forces.
After spending a night at a Central London police station, Rashid then appeared in Westminster Magistrate’s Court on 1 April and faced dual terrorism charges including “preparing terrorist acts” under Section 5 of the 2006 Terrorism Act. He was also charged with “assisting others to commit terrorist acts” following the same law. Court officials stated that these offences were allegedly committed during a period of five months from 1 November 2014 to 31 March 2015.
Rashid appeared in the dock briefly to confirm his identity. With a tall, thin figure, he was casually dressed, wearing a simple grey t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms.
District Judge, Richard Blake, then sent the case to the Central Criminal Court where a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 24 April. As these charges are highly serious, we expect to hear more in the media about the trial as it progresses.
This was the second arrest at Luton Airport this March, with a 21 year old, Jamila Henry, also being apprehended by authorities after returning on a flight from Istanbul. With the lure of ISIS and Muslim extremism proving to be too strong for some, it is a relief to see the good folks in Scotland and England’s police force and criminal law field working hard to eradicate this problem.