A British court has sentenced a 27-year-old man who fled to Syria in 2014 to join the Islamic State jihadist group to life in prison.

The 18-year-old at the time, Sabaz Suleman, disappeared while on vacation with his family in Turkey. In announcing the sentence, Judge Mark Lacraft said he aspired to be a sniper.

While trying to cross into Syria, Sabaz Suleiman was captured by Turkish forces but later included in a prisoner exchange. He thus managed to join the jihadist organization in Syria and as a member gave interviews to many British media outlets.

After the collapse of the “caliphate” he was held for a time by a branch of the Free Syrian Army, before being transferred first to Turkey and then to Pakistan.

He was arrested by British police at Heathrow Airport when he returned to Britain at the end of September 2021.