Derry man ‘fought ISIS’ in Syria, trial told

Eamon Bradley pictured at a previous court hearing.
Eamon Bradley pictured at a previous court hearing.

The trial of a Derry man facing terrorist charges linked to the civil war in Syria has started.

Eamon Bradley (28), whose bail address was given as Benview Estate in the Coshquin area of the city, faces six charges, all of which he denies.

They include attending terrorist training camps and receiving training in the use of guns and grenades.

Derry Crown Court has heard that the offences are alleged to have been committed between March 31 and October 29, 2014. Bradley was arrested in October 2014 on his return home from Syria.

A prosecution barrister told the court the defendant had admitted in police interviews to travelling to Syria, through Turkey, in an effort to overthrow the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.

Ciaran Murphy QC said the defendant joined a group called Jaysh al-Islam, adding that he had received training at an arms camp in the use of an AK-47 assault rifle and Russian made machine guns.

The defendant had also admitted to detectives that he took part in three battles, two against President Assad’s forces and one against the so-called Islamic State group, added Mr Murphy.

The court was told he later became disillusioned with the fighting and, in July 2014, returned to the family home at Melmore Gardens in Derry’s Creggan Estate.

When asked by detectives why he had become disillusioned in Syria, Mr Bradley said he wasn’t sure but that it may have been because of the bombs.

During interviews, he denied that he had been tasked to carry out any work in Northern Ireland and that he considered the use of weapons the only way to solve the Syrian problem.

He told the police he remained proud of his involvement with anti-government forces but that the group which he joined did not believe in exporting their holy war to non-Muslim countries.

The trial continues.