UK

Birmingham men face Islamic State charge

Port of Dover Image copyright Gareth Fuller
Image caption Dover: Men found in back of a lorry, say police

Three Birmingham men have been charged with attempting to leave the UK to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

Gabriel Rasmus, Anas Abdalla and Mahamuud Diini were arrested at Dover on 3 April.

In a brief statement, West Midlands Police said the men would appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

They are charged with preparing for acts of terrorism between September 2014 and April 2015.

Two other men who were arrested at the same time are no longer being held on suspicion of terrorism offences - but are being investigated by immigration officers.

A woman who was also arrested faces no further action.

Mr Rasmus, 28, of Lozells, Mr Abdalla, 26, of Acocks Green and Mr Diini, 25, of Small Heath, were found in the back of a lorry at the Port of Dover.

Mari Reid of the Crown Prosecution Service's counter-terrorism unit said: "The allegation is that they were attempting to smuggle themselves out of the United Kingdom and travel to Syria or Iraq in order to engage in terrorism.

"The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. "I have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"May I remind all concerned that the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

West Midlands Police said: "Police continue to urge anyone concerned that a friend or family member may be considering travelling to Syria to please contact us on 101. We work with a range of agencies that support and safeguard those vulnerable to radicalisation but early intervention is vital."

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