LONDON (AP) — Two British brothers were sent to prison Wednesday for conspiring to attend a terrorist training camp in Syria, becoming the first Britons jailed after returning from the war-torn country.
Hamza and Mohommod Nawaz, from London, were arrested in September 2013 after arriving in England by ferry from France. Police say they were carrying AK-47 ammunition brought home as a trophy as well as photos and videos from their time in Syria.
The brothers pleaded guilty, and on Wednesday 23-year-old Hamza Nawaz was sentenced to three years in prison. His 31-year-old brother, described as the instigator of the plan, received four-and-a-half years.
Judge Christopher Moss told the brothers they had been training "to support the rebel fighting in Syria."
"In fairness to you both there is no evidence of you actually engaged in such fighting," he said. The brothers — whose family had contacted police to report them missing — returned from Syria after a few weeks.
Officials say more than 500 Britons have traveled to Syria since it descended into civil war, many to fight with the Islamic State group and other militant organizations. Officials are concerned some may come back and launch attacks in the U.K. Police say at least 16 people have been charged this year after returning from Syria.
In the latest arrests, a 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were detained at Heathrow airport on Tuesday as they arrived from Istanbul. Police said they were suspected of Syria-related terrorism offenses.