And when he is released in twelve years, assuming he stays in jail even that long, what then? British authorities will take the greatest care to ensure that he has everything he needs in prison to continue his practice of Islam, despite the fact that he participated in these “horrific and deeply disturbing” videos because of his having imbibed Islamic principles regarding the duty to wage war against unbelievers and to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60). So he will likely come out of prison an even more determined jihadi than he is now. But by then he may be appointed a cabinet minister, anyway.
“British jihadi who faked his own death to return to UK is jailed for 12 years,” by Caroline Davies, the Guardian, February 6, 2015 (thanks to Bill):
A British jihadi, who appeared in “horrific and deeply disturbing” propaganda videos and faked his own death so he could return to the UK from a Syrian training camp, has been jailed for 12 years.
Imran Khawaja, 27, nicknamed “Barbie”, posed with severed heads, dead fighters and child soldiers during a six-month stint with Rayat al-Tawheed (RAT) insurgents in Syria last year.
But he told friends he had “had enough” of the conditions, and had complained about the lack of toiletries, cocoa butter, and condoms for the “war booty”.
The former immigration centre worker, from Southall, west London, was stopped by port officials at Dover trying to gain re-entry to the UK after telling friends he needed to raise further funds to support the RAT cause.
The bodybuilder pleaded guilty to preparation of acts of terror, for which he was sentenced to a 17-year extended term, comprising a 12-year custodial term before being released on licence. He will serve a minimum of eight years. He was also given seven-year terms for attending a terrorist training camp and for weapons training, and an 11-year term for possession of an article for terrorist purposes, which will all run concurrently.
Sentencing him at Woolwich crown court, judge Jeremy Baker described him as a “willing and enthusiastic” participant in the videos posted online for Islamic State’s propagandist arm.
Dismissing Khawaja’s claims that he had come home to see his family and that he had regretted his actions, the judge said he presented a risk to the public. “It is clear in the last few years you have been showing an increasing interest in Islamic jihadist material. You took part in the production of films designed to promote the Islamic State cause and encouraging UK Muslims to join you in jihad. Your interest was sufficiently profound for you to travel to Syria to train for jihad. I’m also satisfied, by the time you decided to return to the UK, you had completed your terrorist training,” he said.
Khawaja showed no emotion as he was led from the dock. His counsel, Henry Blaxland QC, said Khawaja had a very low IQ and had been “indoctrinated” in the months before he travelled to Syria in January 2014.
Khawaja had resisted his family’s pleas for him to return to the UK. In messages to friends and relatives, he repeatedly lied about when he was coming home before confiding he was there to die a martyr, the court heard.
In one text exchange with his sister Azmeena, he told her to tell his family that he was doing charity work – “driving an ambulance der [Syria] or sumtin” (sic).
In reality, he was whipping up domestic support for his cause by appearing in harrowing footage and speaking publicly about his desire for actions. In one section of footage played to the court, prosecutor Brian Altman said, Khawaja could be seen picking up severed heads from the back of a flatbed truck and saying: “Heads. Kuffar (non-Muslims). Disgusting”….
Deborah Walsh, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Imran Khawaja’s actions are one of the most appalling examples of violent extremism that I have seen committed by British jihadis returning from Syria.
“Photos and videos of Khawaja posing with child soldiers and severed heads defy the understanding of civilised people and paint a picture of a man who would stop at nothing to spread terror and hatred.”