Derry man remanded in custody on Syria-related terror charges

Eamon Bradley waves to family and friends as he leaves Derry Court. Picture courtesy of Daily Mirror.

A 25-year-old Derry man has been charged with attending a weapons and explosives training camp in Syria.

Eamon Bradley, from Melmore Gardens in Creggan, was also charged with having a grenade in Syria with intent to endanger life or cause damage to property when he appeared at a special sitting of Derry Magistrates Court this morning.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between 1 April and 28 October this year.

There was a heavy police presence both inside and outside Bishop Street courthouse for the hearing.

Bradley, dressed in a black tee-shirt and grey tracksuit bottoms, spoke only once to confirm he understood the charges.

He also waved to his mother, who was the only member of the public allowed in the court for the hearing.

A PSNI detective told the court in July this year police became aware through media reports that Bradley had gone to fight in Syria.

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During a search of his home at the time, police found evidence that he  had converted to Islam and had gone to fight in Syria,

The court was told Bradley booked a return flight and flew from Dublin on 14 February but did not return.

During police interviews, Bradley told police he had gone to Syria to “help the people.”

He told police he initially flew to Istanbul then on to a town near the Syrian border where he stayed before moving to a village closer to the border where he was befriended by local people who stayed he with for a couple of months during which time he learned more about Islam.

After entering Syria illegally by crossing a river, Bradley told police he attended a training camp under the control of Jaysh Al Islam (Army of Islam) receiving training in firearms and explosives

Eamon Bradley posted this image of himself on social media. Picture courtesy of Daily Mirror
Eamon Bradley posted this image of himself on social media. Picture courtesy of Daily Mirror

Bradley told police he fought in three battles – two against the Ba’ath regime and one against ISO.

He also told police during the battles he had been given a AK47 rifle but did not use it.

He told police he left Syria after becoming “disillusioned.”

He said he was given a Syrian passport and made his way back to Northern Ireland through Turkey and Dublin.

Objecting to bail the police detective told the court, Bradley was a “flight risk” and there was a possibility, because of the training he had received in Syria, he could be utilised by British-based Islamic groups and local terrorist groups.

A defence solicitor told the court police objections were speculative and his client believed he had committed no offence.

Refusing bail, Resident Magistrate Barney McElholm said there was a fear Bradley would abscond.

Mr McElholm added there was also a fear of him becoming involved in extraterritorial re-offending and of him being “coerced” by domestic terrorists.

Bradley was remanded in custody to appear in court again via video link on 4 December next.

As he was taken from the courthouse he waved to family and friends before being driven away in a police car.

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