UK finds British YPG member guilty of terrorism

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A British man who had joined a terrorist group in Syria to fight against Daesh has been found guilty of terrorism offenses, a court said Thursday.

Aidan James, 28, who had no previous military training joined the PKK for training in Iraq in 2017, the court was told.

The PKK is a proscribed terror organization under U.K. law.

He went on to fight with the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of PKK, in Syria against another terrorist group, Daesh.

The case against him did not rest on his taking up arms against Daesh, but on his support for the ideological and political cause of the PKK through violence.

James was initially picked up by the U.K. Prevent program, but was then released in early 2017 before he traveled to the Middle East to carry out his intentions on joining the military struggle against Daesh. He had previously been noted to have undertaken “amateurish” training in the U.K., before joining the PKK.

His prosecution brings to an end another case of a British national traveling to take part in the conflict in Syria, and further highlights the difficulty and inconsistent nature of the U.K. government’s response to dealing with such individuals.

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