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2 British men sentenced for terrorism offenses after returning from Syria

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LONDON — Two British men who travelled to Syria to join an al-Qaida linked terrorist group have received lengthy prison sentences.

Longtime friends Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar from the city of Birmingham north of London received sentences of nearly 13 years on Friday.

The 22-year-olds earlier this year had pleaded guilty to one count of preparing terrorist acts. They had been arrested at London's Heathrow Airport while trying to return from Syria.

Court testimony indicated the men had ordered "The Koran for Dummies" and "Islam for Dummies" books in preparation for their trip to Syria.

Judge Michael Topolski said the two "enthusiastically" tried to commit acts of terrorism. He said they were deeply committed to violent acts.

British officials have warned of an increase in recent months of the number of Britons joining extremist groups in Syria. They warn that some are planning to try to bring terrorist tactics back to Britain.

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