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UK Cypriot jailed for sharing ISIS propaganda

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A British man of Greek Cypriot descent was jailed for two years and four months in the UK this week for sharing the Islamic State’s propaganda videos online.

According to the Daily Mail, Stefan Aristidou, 27, from Enfield was arrested at Heathrow in February this year after being deported from Turkey.

He converted to Islam in late 2013 and reportedly became increasingly drawn to ISIS over the course of 2014.

Around six years ago he was sharing the group’s propaganda videos with a Skype user based in Canada. Some of the videos depicted mass executions, sniper assassinations and beheadings.

In April 2015, after having an Islamic marriage, he left London with his new wife heading for Syria via Cyprus and Turkey.

Aristidou and his wife are believed to have spent two years in Syria, although it is unclear what they were doing while they were there. The court heard the couple were arrested by the Turkish authorities at the Syria-Turkey border in April 2017. His wife and their child were deported to the UK, but he was charged and convicted of being a member of IS in October 2018 and jailed for six years and three months by a Turkish court. He was deported to the UK in February this year having served just less than three years of his sentence as part of the country’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 in prisons, the court heard.

Aristidou was not charged with being a member of ISIS by the UK authorities due to lack of evidence of his activities while in Syria but was charged with seven counts of disseminating a terrorist publication dating back to before he left Britain.

In July he admitted four of the counts relating to IS propaganda videos over a five-week period between November and December 2014.

Aristidou was told he must serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison instead of the customary half, with an additional year added to his licence period.

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