London: A British teacher pleaded guilty today to charges of funding would-be fighters going to Syria and planning to go there himself, but said he did not support the Islamic State group.
Lawyers for chemistry teacher Jamshed Javeed, 30, told the court in London that he "never supported and does not support the aims of ISIS (Islamic State) as now revealed and understood".
They said that Javeed last year sent money to his brother to help him and a friend travel to Syria to fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime because he had been "deeply moved" by the suffering of the civilian population.
"He does not support suicide bombings, the execution of hostages or forcing non-Muslims to convert to Islam," the lawyers said in a written statement to the court.
The married father of two, who taught at a high school in Bolton near Manchester in northwest England, had also planned to travel to Syria in November 2013 but was unable to do so after his family hid his passport, the lawyers said.
Tony Mole, head of the police's North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said: "The evidence indicates he has got together with a group who had been very determined to go out to Syria and fight.
"Anybody that either goes out to ISIS or is trying to get out to ISIS at this stage is putting themselves and their family and their communities in a very vulnerable position," he said.
Javeed is due to be sentenced on December 12.