Man in court on Syria kidnap charge

A trainee NHS doctor has appeared in court accused of kidnapping a British photographer in Syria.

Shajul Islam, 26, who had studied at St Bartholomew's and a University of London hospital, was arrested last week at Heathrow Airport and charged on Tuesday.

He is accused of being part of an extremist group that kept John Cantlie, who worked for various newspapers including The Sunday Times, and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans captive for around a week in the war-torn state.

The British medic was arrested as he arrived on a flight from Egypt with his wife and one-year-old daughter on October 9, having left the UK in June, the court was told.

Islam, from Stratford, east London, is accused of being a doctor for the jihadi group that kidnapped the journalists and held them at a camp in Syria.

Mr Cantlie and Mr Oerlemans were kept handcuffed and blindfolded after being captured as they travelled into Syria to cover the conflict there.

At Westminster Magistrates' Court, Islam appeared for a short hearing wearing a black jacket with a grey shirt and tie. He spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

It is alleged that he, with others, unlawfully and injuriously imprisoned John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans against their will, between July 17 and 26.

He was remanded in custody and is next due to appear at the Old Bailey on November 2.

His wife, also 26, was released without charge by police.