- Naseer Taj, 26, was caught 'red handed' in his Bedford flat December 2014
- He was found guilty of 'preparation of terrorists acts' and faces jail time
- He had bought a Eurostar ticket to Brussels and a flight to Turkey
- Planned to leave his wife for a woman called Umm Jibreel in Raqqa, Syria
- Police found stash of al-Qaeda magazines and extremist material
A would-be jihadi is facing jail time for terror offences after he was caught planning to leave his pregnant wife and young son for an ISIS bride in Syria.
Naseer Taj, 26, was caught 'red-handed' two days before he was set to catch a train for Brussels and an onward flight to Turkey in December 2014.
A police raid found a stash of al-Qaeda magazines instructing how to send a bomb in the post as well as combat clothes, cash and a mosquito net.
Following an Old Bailey trial, he was found guilty of preparation of terrorists acts and having copies of the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire.
Guilty: Naseer Taj, 26, faces years in jail for planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS and wage jihad
Prosecutor Mark Weekes told jurors Taj had already made a 'dry run' journey to the Syrian border in Turkey in the summer of 2014 and was in communication with other jihadis.
He was also discussing marrying a woman in Syria called Umm Jibreel to smooth their entry into Raqqa city.
On December 13 he told her 'I dnt wanna pressurise u into deciding 100% on marrying me...Keep me posted I'll be waiting (sic).'
She replied: '...no!!! WALLAHI (by God) there's no pressure...I'v been making istikhara (prayer) about this for a long time (sic)'.
He was also in daily contact with Mohammed Uddin, who went to Syria in November 2014 but was sent back after being detained by Turkish authorities.
He exchanged texts with IS fixer Abu Qaqa - aka Raphael Hostey, from Manchester - and asked him if Iraq was the best place for a quick martyrdom.
Taj, a taxi driver, also maintained a prolific Twitter profile, where he sent thousands of tweets, using a profile picture of an al-Qaeda leader with a background image of Jihadi John wielding a knife.
In the days before his arrest, he posted more than 1,000 tweets and retweets, with 27% of them referring to IS.
He re-tweeted a message from a user with the profile of the IS flag which read: 'The only way these filthy kuffar (non Muslims) learn is by their head getting cut off.'
On December 15, Taj tweeted: 'Oh disbelievers!!! Burn in ur rage and commit suicide the Islamic State is coming 2 u. Watch ur back.'
His Twitter profile had a background picture of Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John, and an al-Qaeda leader
On the morning of December 29 2014, police swooped on Taj's one-bedroom flat in Victoria Road, Bedford, while he and his wife Rabia Khalique were at home.
He was due to leave the UK two days later, having booked a Eurostar ticket to Brussels and a flight on to Turkey.
Officers discovered the former FedEx worker had a stash of extremist material on his phone, including al-Qaeda magazines which included an article about parcel bombs and UPS and FedEx.
They also seized travel documents and kit for his trip, including factor 50 sun cream, cash, a mosquito net and combat clothes.
Taj was in contact with another man from Bedford, who was due to take the Eurostar on the same day. His home was also searched by police but no further action was taken.
Giving evidence, Taj admitted believing in 'defensive' jihad and said he was planning to travel to Syria 'for peaceful reasons' but changed his mind at the last minute.
He was cross-examined about the instructions to put bombs in FedEx and UPS parcels.
The defendant, who now has a son aged four and an 11-month-old daughter, told jurors he had been made redundant by FedEx in August 2011 - before he downloaded the article.
Naj sent more than 1,000 tweets and retweets, with 27% of them referring to IS the day before he was arrested
Mr Weekes asked: 'It's just a coincidence that there is an article dealing with UPS and FedEx and planning to put bombs in packages and you working for FedEx, is it?'
Taj said: 'I didn't know about this.'
He denied reading much of the extremist material, saying: 'I'm not a reader, I like to read but I don't read because I can't be bothered.'
The court heard he was arrested for a second time in May last year after trying to obtain fraudulent travel documents in a bid to flee the country after his passport was seized on his initial arrest.
The jury was not told that during the course of the trial, Uddin, 29, from Barking in Essex, had been jailed for seven years at Woolwich Crown Court for travelling to Syria to fight with IS.
Detective Inspector Ryan Brammer said: 'Naseer Mirza Taj was a very active supporter of Daesh who had clear plans to travel to Syria to join so-called Islamic State.
'From our investigations, we believe he was planning to attend a training camp in Syria, marry a jihadi bride before fighting and ultimately dying for IS.
'It almost beggars belief that he was willing to leave his pregnant wife behind, but it shows how quickly people can become radicalised and the lengths that extremists are willing to go to in order to pledge their allegiance to their 'cause'. '