Former British police cadet who joined ISIS terrorist group five years ago found in Syrian camp
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters stand guard next to men waiting to be screened after being evacuated out of the last territory held by Islamic State group militants, near Baghouz, eastern Syria.
Forty to 50 British IS fighters have been captured in Syria in the last three months, the British public broadcaster BBC reported on Monday, and more may be identified in camps in north-eastern Syria.
Among them is was Hamza Parvez, a British fighter who joined the group five years ago and stayed until the very end.
A former police cadet from west London, he claimed in an interview with BBC that he did not know what he was getting himself into when he left the UK to join the group.
“I didn’t know that there was something waiting for me like that,” he said. “We never would have come if we had known the realities of ISIS.”
The man said western fighters kept mainly to themselves in fear of being associated with ISIS members on a drone hit-list. He tried to leave the self-proclaimed Caliphate multiple times, he said, but doing so “wasn’t as easy as it sounds.” “It could be a life or death decision,” he said.
A report by The Sunday Telegraph found that British intelligence was deliberately not interviewing Islamic State suspects in Syria partly because of fears that any contact could strengthen the detainees’ case for returning to the UK.
UK officials said the government is worried that any encounter between MI6 officers and British suspects risks giving the detainees a legal foothold which they could exploit to come back to Britain, the report found.
Britain’s intelligence agencies have maintained “a strategic distance” from UK detainees in Syria, having been dogged by years of lawsuits over their role in the treatment of suspected jihadists abroad.
The end of the Islamic State group’s so-called caliphate was announced less than a week ago, after the last stronghold in Baghouz was recaptured from the group.
Source: The National