Aidan James: British man cleared of one Syria terrorism charge

A British man who travelled to Syria to fight against the Islamic State group has been cleared of a terrorism charge.

Aidan James, 28, of Formby, Merseyside, had no previous military knowledge when he allegedly set out in 2017 to fight with the YPG Kurdish militia.
He still faces two charges of allegedly attending terrorist training camps, which he denies.
But Mr Justice Edis said “there is no case to answer” regarding an allegation of preparing for terrorism.
Mr James was formally acquitted of the charge that he prepared for acts of terrorism by training in the UK, acquiring equipment, communicating with others and travelling to Iraq.
The judge made the ruling in the jury’s absence on Monday, the court heard.

Prosecutors did not seek a conviction if the defendant’s “activity was solely limited to the fight against ISIS”, Mr Justice Edis told the Old Bailey.
Evidence showed Mr James was to going to join the YPG for “a six month tour of duty” at a time when the “YPG was fully occupied fighting against ISIS,” he told jurors.
The remaining two charges allege Mr James attended places used for terrorist training, where Kurdish militias the YPG and the PKK – which is a proscribed organisation – were active.
Andrew Hall QC, representing the defendant, told the court he would not be calling any evidence after the prosecution had formally closed its case.
The trial continues.
Aidan James
Aidan James, via Facebook.

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