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Paintball terror training man set to be sentenced

An apprentice bricklayer who attempted to join Islamic State (IS) in Syria after "training" for battle at a paintballing centre is set to be sentenced by a Crown Court judge.

Humza Ali, from Birmingham, was refused entry to Turkey in January 2015 after flying to Istanbul via Dublin, having travelled by coach and ferry to Ireland.

A three-week trial which ended in December heard that the 20-year-old was covertly recorded in December 2013 as he vowed to to "fight until I die" for IS.

Ali - a student at Birmingham's South and City College who lived with his parents - told his trial he had no intention of travelling on to Syria from Turkey.

But jurors convicted Ali, of Bromford Lane, Ward End, of attempting to travel for terrorist purposes and disseminating numerous video messages to other men, showing beheadings and atrocities carried out by IS.

He was also found guilty of sending malicious communications after directing abusive anti-democracy messages at a local councillor.

Following Ali's conviction, police released photos recovered from his mobile phone showing him posing beside a tank at Delta Force paintballing in Cut Throat Lane, Hockley Heath, near Solihull, in June 2014.

During Ali's trial, prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said the paintballing trip was "a bonding act of preparation" between men of like mind and like intent, doing what passed, in their limited circumstances, for training.

Ali will be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday by Judge Mark Wall QC.

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