A man who travelled to Syria to join a terrorist training camp has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of terror offences in relation to the conflict.
Mashudur Choudhury, 31, travelled to the Middle Eastern country in October and was arrested at Gatwick Airport when he returned later that month.
He was found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts on Tuesday after a 12-day trial at Kingston Crown Court in London.
The court heard that Choudhury, of Stubbington Avenue, Portsmouth, travelled to Syria with four other people from his area but was the only one to come back.
Speaking for the prosecution, Alison Morgan told the jury: "The evidence clearly shows that this defendant planned for and then travelled to Syria with the intention of attending a training camp.
"The training was to include the use of firearms and the purpose of fighting was to pursue a political, religious or ideological cause.
"At times in his discussions with others the defendant described his intention to become a martyr."
Ms Morgan read out a number of messages exchanged by Ifthekar Jaman and the defendant via Skype.
In one exchange, Choudhury suggested the group he was travelling with should be called the “Britani brigade Bangladeshi bad boys”.
Jaman, 23, spoke to the BBC about fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) against Assad’s forces last year.
In an interview broadcast on Newsnight, he said: “We are trying to establish the law of God, the law of Allah. This is the duty on me... all these people are suffering. Muslims are being slaughtered.”
In December, his family said they believed he had been killed in fighting.
The court also heard details of text messages sent between Choudhury and his wife.
In one message, she wrote: “Go die in battlefield. Go die, I really mean it just go. I'll be relieved. At last. At last.”
Choudhury will be sentenced on 13 June and the prosecutions of several other suspected jihadis continue.
David Williams, the chief executive of Portsmouth City Council, downplayed evidence given to the court about his past employment as a youth worker.
Mr Williams said Choudhury held a “junior position” as a racial harassment caseworker six years ago after a criminal records check and was seconded as a part-time development worker in the Muslim community.
“Mashudur Choudhury embellished both roles on his CV as presented to the court,” he added.
The total number of British participants in the conflict is estimated to be in the hundreds, with as many as 20 thought to have died in the fighting.
In pictures: Syria conflict
In pictures: Syria conflict
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Syrians carry children amid debris following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo
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A Syrian man carries a girl on a street covered with dust following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo
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Syrians react as they stand amid debris following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo
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A Syrian man carries a girl amid debris following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo
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An injured Syrian man walks out from the rubble of a destroyed building following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo
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A Syrian woman makes her way through debris following a air strike by government forces in the northern city of Aleppo
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People stand on the rubble of collapsed buildings at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the Al-Fardous neighbourhood of Aleppo
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Syrian residents stand amid the rubble of destroyed buildings
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A Syrian resident grasps a mattress amid rubble in the al-Firdous neighborhood of the northern city of Aleppo
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A bullet-riddled parking sign stands amid debris in a deserted street leading into the old city of Homs
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A general view shows abandoned buildings on a deserted square in the old city of Homs after Syrian government forces regained control of rebel-controlled areas
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A mosque is pictured through shattered glass in the old city of Homs, as rebel fighters withdrew from the city centre in line with a negotiated withdrawal deal with the government after having held out under tight siege for nearly two years
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Buses carrying Free Syrian Army fighters leaving Homs. Exhausted and worn out from a year-long siege, hundreds of Syrian rebels left their last remaining bastions in the heart of the central city of Homs under a cease-fire deal with government forces. The exit of some 1,200 fighters and civilians will mark a de facto end of the rebellion in the battered city, which was one of the first places to rise up against President Bashar Assad's rule, earning it the nickname of "capital of the revolution"
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Syrian government forces hold up a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad (L) while others raise the national flag on top of a pole in the old city of Homs
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Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad run through Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr crossing after their release by rebels. They were freed as part of a larger deal which saw the last remaining Syrian rebels in central Homs city evacuate their positions and free captives in several locations in northern Syria
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A Syrian woman and two children walk past heavily damaged buildings in the northern city of Aleppo
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A man carries a wounded girl following a reported bombardment with explosive-packed "barrel bombs" by Syrian government forces in the al-Mowasalat neighborhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo
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A wounded man sits as he is treated at a makeshift hospital following a reported bombardment with explosive-packed "barrel bombs" by Syrian government forces in the al-Sakhour district of the northern city of Aleppo
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Debris rises in what Free Syrian Army fighters and Islamic rebels said was an operation to strike Al-Sahaba checkpoint, which is considered a gateway to Al-Dayf valley, and remove forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Maarat Al-Nouman, Idlib province
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Men try to put out fire at a site hit by what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the town of Azaz, north of Aleppo, near the border with Turkey
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Civil Defence members try to put out fire
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Survivors react at a site hit by what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the town of Azaz, north of Aleppo, near the border with Turkey
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Residents queue as they wait to receive food aid distributed by the UNRWA at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, south of Damascus
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Belongings of Syrian rebels inside a chapel at Crac des Chevaliers, the world's best preserved medieval Crusader castle in Syria. The village was destroyed in fighting between the government and rebel forces while the castle, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, also has been damaged over the past two years
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Hosen Sabah, a 16-year-old student is comforted by his mother at a hospital in Damascus. Nosen was wounded by a mortar outside his school, while 14 other students were killed and over 80 wounded
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A Free Syrian Army fighter works on a locally made launcher before firing it towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Mork town
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Syrian policemen and citizens inspecting the site of a car bomb at the entrance of Moadhamiyet al-Sham neighborhood in rural Damascus. According to Syria's Arab News Agency (SANA), a car bomb explosion has gone off in the countryside of Damascus and initial information say there are casualties, where a car rigged with explosions was remotely detonated at the entrance of Moadhamiyet al-Sham neighborhood in rural Damascus during engineering units it was trying to dismantled it
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Opposition fighters carrying a rocket launcher during clashes against government forces in the Sheikh Lutfi area, west of the airport in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo
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A Syrian man helps a woman to make her way through debris following reported air strikes by government forces in the Halak neighbourhood in northeastern Aleppo
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A Syrian man reacts as he carries the body of injured boy following reported air strikes by government forces in the Halak neighbourhood in northeastern Aleppo. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 33 civilians were killed in the attack
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Syrian rescue workers carry the body of a woman following reported air strikes by government forces in the Halak neighbourhood in northeastern Aleppo
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Syrians gather at the site of reported air strikes by government forces in the Halak neighbourhood in northeastern Aleppo
Assistant Chief Constable Brendan O’Dowda, from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit, said Choudhury’s landmark conviction sent a “strong” message to anyone considering joining jihad in Syria.
He added: “The ongoing conflict in Syria is terrible for us all to see. Great sympathy is felt for those victims of that conflict. If anyone has a genuine desire to help then they are encouraged to offer aid and support by donating through charities supporting the relief operation.
“Syria is a very dangerous place - best described as a cocktail of high risk and threat. Anyone thinking of travelling to fight ‘Jihad’ against the Assad regime, think again. You are likely to be killed or kidnapped and if you return to the UK you are highly likely to be arrested.”
Charles Farr, the Home Office’s terror chief, warned recently that Britons travelling to Syria represented “the biggest challenge” to the security services since the 2001 Twin Tower attacks in New York.
The British government has been struggling to find ways to deter young people from the UK travelling to Syria to fight and has launched a campaign urging the families of people planning to go to intervene and stop them.
Security officials are worried that some fighters returning home may have been radicalised and could be planning attacks here.
Additional reporting by PAReuse content