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He is no Lawrence of Arabia, jury in jihadist terror trial of NI man is told

By George Jackson

A Northern Ireland man who denies committing terrorist offences in Syria was "not Derry's answer to Lawrence of Arabia", a court has heard.

The jury at Londonderry Crown Court has retired in the case of Eamon Bradley following a 10-day trial.

Bradley spent four months in custody after he was arrested at his Melmore Gardens home in the Creggan area of the city in November 2014 after he returned from the Turkish-Syrian border.

He denies attending a terrorist training camp and denies receiving training in the use of weaponry. He also denies possessing hand grenades.

The defendant, who did not give evidence during his trial, is alleged to have committed the offences in Syria between March and October 2014.

Prosecuting barrister Ciaran Murphy QC told the jury that in a rare and unusual move the prosecution believed what the defendant told the police about his involvement in the Syrian conflict in over 10 hours of recorded interviews.

"There is no evidence that he is a fantasist. He has admitted in police interviews that he did what he has been charged with," he said.

"We say the bottom line here is Eamon Bradley did travel to Syria from Northern Ireland, he did go to a training camp and he did take up grenades for the purpose of attacking other people with them.

"It may have been it was the Assad regime that was the target, it may have been Isis. He did not have to pull the trigger nor pull the pin and throw a grenade to commit the offences," he said.

Defence barrister Brian McCartney QC said it was not the case that the defendant was "Derry's answer to Lawrence of Arabia".

He told the jurors that there was no forensic, no DNA and no firearms evidence to support the prosecution's case.

"This is not just a weak case, it is a flimsy and threadbare case," he said.

"Here we have a man called a terrorist by the prosecution. This is a terrorist who had to be flown home because he missed his granny. His flight had to be paid for by his mother, who is here in court today.

"This is a terrorist who upon his return home wandered the streets of Derry for a week before they (the police) decided to go back and raid his home again."

The trial continues.

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