The Westminster Magistrates Court is going to charge the Merseyside man Aidan James with terrorism offences for fighting against ISIS. The British man has fought with Kurdish forces in Syria. The 27-year-old from Formby was arrested at Liverpool Airport after returning to the country on February 14.
Aidan James is charged with one count of the preparation of acts of terrorism and two counts of attendance at a place used for terrorist training. In Syria, he has been a member of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is one of the most effective ground forces against ISIS. He is the second Briton with YPG connections who is charged with terrorism offences.
Counter-terrorism police arrests the Britons who fought with ISIS upon their return, through the government’s Prevent program. In 2015 the government warned those who went to Syria and Iraq to be faced legal consequences. However, the fighters claim that they have been fighting on the same side as the Western coalition.
Another Briton with YPG connections who is charged with the similar offences as James, is soldier James Matthews, 43, from Bristol. He said that he attended places in Iraq and Syria where training was provided “for purposes connected with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism.”
In his case, the magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, said: “This is a very unusual case. It’s certainly the first case this court has had in front of it, in numerous other alleged terrorism cases.”