'Terror tourist' Mehmet Biber jailed for trip to fight in war-torn Syria

Mehmet Biber has been jailed. Source: Facebook

A Sydney man has been jailed for more than two years after pleading guilty to a foreign incursion charge relating to a trip to Syria in 2013.

A Sydney man who pleaded guilty to a terror-related charge will spend at least two and a half years behind bars after travelling to Syria in 2013 with the intention of fighting in the war-torn region.

Mehmet Biber, 25, was arrested in late 2016 more than two years after returning to Australia.

He pleaded guilty in February to entering a foreign state intending hostile activity.

Justice Christine Adamson on Friday jailed Biber for four years and nine months with a non-parole period of two and a half years.

During a NSW Supreme Court hearing last week, Biber insisted he never went near the front line because his hosts - from the moderate Ahrar al-Sham group - were protective of Australians.

However, he conceded he would have tried if allowed.

Justice Adamson accepted part but not all of his evidence.

She considered his offending "well below the mid-range of seriousness" for the charge which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Mehmet Biber has been jailed for more than two years over a trip to fight in Syria.
Mehmet Biber has been jailed for more than two years over a trip to fight in Syria.
Facebook

Biber's youth and naivety at the time of the trip were mitigating factors, the judge said.

His decision to leave behind his pregnant wife in Australia and pose for photos during the trip with a group of men holding assault rifles were indicative of his immaturity.

The 25-year-old's father, Gaven Biber, tried four times to alert authorities before his son travelled to Syria. He later went to Turkey himself to persuade him to come home.

Outside court on Friday, Mr Biber said Mehmet posed no risk to the community and just wanted to get on with his life.

"We did everything in our power to stop him but, unfortunately, the authorities gave us no assistance whatsoever," he told reporters.

"Any parent would have done the same thing that I did."

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Source AAP - SBS

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