21 Nov 2013

Jihadi journey: the Brits sent to Syria

Channel 4 News obtains footage showing British Muslims fighting alongside rebel forces in Syria and speaks to the man documenting the jihadi journey.

On Thursday Channel 4 News revealed that four British nationals were reported to have died fighting for rebel extremists in Syria.

Three of the men, all thought to be from London, were killed as they attacked fighters loyal to President Bashar Assad, while a fourth died two weeks later when he was shot as he ambushed an enemy position, according to The Times.

The man killed during an ambush of Assad’s forces in August was named on Wednesday as Mohammed el-Araj, 23, from Ladbroke Grove, west London (pictured below).

Mohammed el-Araj

Abu Hujama al-Britani

He went by the name of Abu Khalid, and was was jailed for 18 months in 2010 after being arrested during a violent protest outside London’s Israeli embassy.

He fought alongside the three other men who were killed by shelling two weeks earlier, along with nine others of different nationalities.

A British activist, who called himself Abu Hujama al-Britani (W)

Channel 4 News have been sent footage of one of the other men, who called himelf Abu Hujama al-Britani.

‘Terrorist threat’

Fears are growing that British extremists fighting alongside al Qaida in Syria could pose a terrorist threat when they return home.

The British men killed were among a group of foreign fighters in Syria who in September spoke of their willingness to die fighting to make the country an Islamic state.

In interviews they said that fears of them launching an attack in Britain were overstated.

The Foreign Office said it was looking into reports of the men’s deaths, and said that “moderate Syrians have been explicit that they want aid, not foreign fighters”.

Video courtesy of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.