7 Sep 2015

British Isis recruits confirmed killed in airstrike

Two British citizens have been killed in an RAF drone strike in Syria, an act David Cameron described as self-defence.

David Cameron told MPs today that Cardiff-born Reyaad Khan, 21 (above, left), was killed in August in a targeted drone strike on the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.

He said a second British man, Ruhul Amin, had also been killed and was identified as an Isis fighter. A third unidentified man was also killed.

The prime minister said that the attack was legal, as Khan was plotting a “barbaric attack”, and that the use of a drone-strike was proportionate.

“Today I can inform the house that in an act of self-defence and after meticulous planning Reyaad Khan was killed in a precision air strike carried out on 21st August by an RAF remotely piloted aircraft while he was travelling in a vehicle in the area of Raqqa in Syria,” he said. “There was a terrorist directing murder on our streets and no other means to stop him.”

Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman asked why the prime minister himself had not authorised the strike and whether the legal advice received by the government will be published.

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament condemned the attack. General secretary Kate Hudson said: “That a British citizen was targeted and killed by these strikes – and another killed by mistake – is particularly alarming and sets a dangerous new precedent. This is extra-judicial killing – a British prime minister now claims the right to kill British citizens when they travel abroad.”

Abu Dujana aka Reyaad Khan’s death was confirmed last week by his family at Friday prayers in Cardiff.

Khan had previously appeared in an Isis propaganda video filmed in Syria, calling on others to join the fight in Iraq and Syria.

An image uploaded by anti-Isis group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently appears to show smoke rising from a drone strike on the same day in the same area that the men were killed, reportedly in a car near Qadisiyah roundabout.

Reports of hackers’ death

Last month it was reported that British Islamic State fighter Junaid Hussain had also been killed in a drone strike.

Mr Cameron today confirmed that he was killed in an American strike three days after the other men, on 24 August.

Hussain had served a jail sentence for hacking the personal details of Tony Blair but travelled to the region in 2013 after jumping bail for other offences.

Last year he posted to Twitter: “One day the flag of tawheed will fly over 10 Downing Street and the White House” and “British people watch out”.

Hussain previously went by the name TriCk online, and tweets that appeared under his name more recently were linked to the attack on a freedom of speech event in Garland, Texas.

Tweets sent by Abu Hussain al-Britani before and after the attack showed links between the Garland attacker and al-Britani.

Hours before the attack took place al-Britani tweeted “soon we will come to your streets with death and slaughter,” indicating that he had possible knowledge of the attack.