Birmingham teenager who ran away from school to fly to Syria pleads guilty to terror charges

The boy had his school uniform in his bag

The boy had his school uniform in his bag

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Birmingham teenager who ran away from school in the hope of flying to Syria has pleaded guilty to terror charges.

The 16-year-old boy from Sutton Coldfield, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted the charge of preparing for terrorist acts under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, at an appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court today (Thursday January 18).

The youth was arrested at Birmingham Airport in June 2017 by officers from the West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit, as he attempted to check in on a flight bound for Istanbul. He had been reported missing by his concerned family.

The school boy, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, had used his parent’s credit cards to book the one-way flight and accommodation to Turkey. It is believed he planned to make his way on to the war zone in Syria and join a proscribed organisation.

He arrived at Birmingham airport on the morning of June 12, but was stopped as he did not have a flight booked. He returned later that day having booked a flight to Turkey, but was arrested.

When he was searched, officers found his school uniform in his rucksack and discovered Turkish money tucked into his sock.

He has been bailed with strict conditions to appear at Stratford Youth Court in London on February 20.

Anyone concerned about someone travelling to, or returning from, Syria or another conflict zone or is worried about someone showing signs of being radicalised should contact their local police on 101 or visit www.preventtragedies.co.uk to access relevant support and advice.

For further information about reporting suspicious behaviour visit act.campaign.gov.uk