Skip to main content

UK man charged over photographers' kidnapping in Syria

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shajul Islam is charged with "unlawfully and injuriously" imprisoning two photographers
  • He was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport last week
  • A 26-year-old woman arrested alongside Islam was released without charge
  • Photographers John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans were held for a week in July

London (CNN) -- A British man appeared in a London court Wednesday, charged with the kidnapping of two Western photographers in Syria this summer.

Shajul Islam, 26, is accused, together with others, of having "unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned" two photographers between July 17 and July 26. The two are Briton John Cantlie, who has worked for the Sunday Times newspaper, and Dutchman Jeroen Oerlemans.

Islam, who was charged late Tuesday, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing.

Syrian rebels say they shot down chopper
Syrian Jihadists getting weapons
Renewed bid for Syria solution

He is qualified as a National Health Service doctor, having trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, the court heard.

Prosecutor Piers Arnold told the court that Islam had joined a jihadist group in Syria and worked as a medic for it.

There could be as many as 15 British nationals working at the jihadists' camp in Syria, Arnold said.

Islam was remanded in custody, with the next hearing due to take place on November 2 at the Old Bailey, London's main criminal court.

He was arrested a week ago after arriving at London's Heathrow Airport on a flight from Egypt. A 26-year-old woman was arrested alongside Islam on suspicion of planning or taking part in terrorist acts. She was released Tuesday without charge.

Police searched two addresses in east London in connection with their arrests.

The photographers said they were held hostage by jihadist fighters in Syria for a week in July.

CNN's Jonathan Wald and Dan Rivers contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 5:19 PM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
updated 6:19 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT