QC claims Derry man “agrees” 
he commited terrorist offences

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A Derry man accused of terrorism charges linked to the Syrian civil war “agreed” that he committed the offences, a prosecutor told his trial.

Eamon Bradley, 28, denied firing a bullet during three battles against Islamic State and the Syrian government but, when interviewed by police, said he signed up as a soldier in one of the rebel groups in 2014.

He described attending a training camp and carrying an assault rifle and grenade as a junior infantryman or mujahid fighter.

Prosecutor Ciaran Murphy QC told Derry Crown Court: “This man has told you the truth of what he did. The truth means he is guilty of these offences. We say he is involving himself in acts of terrorism.”

Bradley denies six charges, including attending a terrorist training camp and receiving training in the use of a grenade.

The alleged offences are said to have been committed between March and October 2014.

Mr Murphy told the jury: “All of these events were connected to the same purpose, the use of violence to overthrow the (Syrian President Bashar) Assad regime.”

The barrister said he admitted having grenades.

“Did he commit these offences or did he not?

“We say quite clearly that he did and in fact Mr Bradley agreed that he did.”

Tuesday was day 10 of Bradley’s ground-breaking trial.

According to earlier testimony he gave to police he used a Facebook page to research the fighting, convert to Islam and make contact with people who told him how to get there.

They pinpointed a village on the Turkey/Syria border and he was given a WhatsApp mobile messaging number to make contact with the rebels once there.

He flew from Dublin to Turkey in February 2014 then was smuggled across the border with Syria, crossing a river in a makeshift raft, a tractor wheel.

He told police he attended a training camp run by the Army of Islam rebel faction and was present at three battles.

Bradley said he went to help the Syrian people.

Mr Murphy said: “We cannot start taking up arms ourselves to fight in the Syrian war - breaking the law.

“If everyone decided that they did not like a particular regime in a particular country or a particular government or a politician or a race or religion and took up weapons, took up explosives, ammunition, firearms, to use or to threaten violence, then they commit an offence.

“The alternative to that is anarchy and everyone does whatever they think is right.”

“The fact people are fighting for what they believe is a just or noble cause it does not make that a just or noble cause, not in terms of the legislation.

“It is unregulated warfare with no political basis whatsoever.”