A man who shared extremist material online before travelling abroad to join terrorist group Daesh in Syria has been jailed.
Stefan Aristidou, 27 (19.12.1993), of no fixed address, was yesterday (Friday, 1 October) sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment at the Old Bailey after admitting to four counts of dissemination of terrorist material (contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006) at a previous hearing.
Aristidou’s family feared he had travelled to Syria and reported him missing in April 2015. In their efforts to locate Aristidou, detectives looked on his computer, where they found evidence that Aristidou had shared violent extremist material with another person.
Aristidou’s conversations indicated that he had left the UK to join Daesh in Syria. He was arrested by police in Turkey in April 2017, and later convicted and jailed for being a member of a terrorist organisation by the Turkish authorities.
Aristidou, a British national, was deported back to the UK on 3 February 2020 following his release from prison in Turkey, and when he arrived at Heathrow Airport he was arrested by SO15 officers in relation to the terrorist material he shared.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This case is a reminder that if you commit terrorism offences in the UK, police will seek to prosecute you – no matter how much time has elapsed.
“Extremist propaganda of the kind Aristidou shared shows graphic acts of terrorist violence, and promotes a hateful, toxic ideology. Aristidou will now spend more time in jail for this offending.”
Communities defeat terrorism, and information from the public is vital to counter terrorism investigations. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious and think someone may be engaging in terrorist activity, trust your instincts and act by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT. Always dial 999 or in an emergency.
If you’re concerned that someone you know is being radicalised, call the national Police Prevent Advice Line on 0800 011 3764, in confidence, and our specially trained Prevent officers will listen carefully to your concerns. Visit actearly.uk for more information.