A taxi driver who planned to leave his pregnant wife and marry a jihadi bride in Syria has been jailed for terror offences.

Naseer Taj intended to leave his heavily pregnant spouse and young son in Britain while pursuing martydom with the so-called Islamic State.

The 26-year-old was jailed for eight years and three months at the Old Bailey after being found guilty of preparation of terrorist acts and having copies of the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire. He was also convicted for possessing a false driving licence.

Naseer TajPolice swooped on the cabbie’s one-bedroom flat in Victoria Road, Bedford, two days before he was due to travel. He had booked a Eurostar ticket to Brussels and flight to Turkey.

The former FedEx worker had a stash of extremist material on his phone, including Al Qaeda magazines which included an article about parcel bombs, UPS and FedEx. Officers also seized travel documents and kit for his trip, including factor 50 sun cream, cash, a mosquito net and combat clothes.

Taj claimed at a trial in February that he had decided at the last minute that living in the caliphate was not for him. But handing down a jail term, Judge Stephen Kramer said the jury had not been ‘fooled’.

Detective Inspector Ryan Brammer said: “Naseer Mirza Taj was a very active supporter of Daesh who had clean plans to travel to Syria and join the so-called Islamic State.

“From our investigations, we believe he was planning to attend a training camp in Syria, marry a jihadi bride before fighting and ultimately dying for IS.

“It almost beggars belief that he was willing to leave his pregnant wife behind, but it shows how quickly people can become radicalised and the lengths that extremists are willing to go to in order to pledge their alliegiance to their ’cause’.”

Taj created a Twitter page with a background image of ‘Jihadi John’ wielding a knife and sent out thousands of jihadi tweets. A few days before his arrest he tweeted: “Oh disbelivers!!! Burn in ur rage and commit suicide the Islamic State is coming 2 u. Watch ur back.”