Scottish Daily Mail


Star pupil bound for medical school appeals for fighters in Iraq jihadists’ chilling video

- By Sam Marsden and Richard Marsden

A BRITISH gap- year student is the key figure in a chilling recruitmen­t video aimed at luring jihadists to Iraq. Nasser Muthana, 20, has been offered places to study medicine by four universiti­es, and was due to begin his course last September. Instead, he secretly made his way to Syria from his family home in Cardiff with his 17-yearold brother.

Yesterday, to the horror of his relatives, he bragged of fighting for the Al Qaeda-inspired ISIS terror group. He appears alongside two other young British jihadists in the 13-minute

long, profession­ally shot video, which was posted online yesterday. Named in the video as ‘Abu Muthanna Al Yemeni’, he says: ‘We understand no borders. We have participat­ed in battles in Sham [Syria] and in a few days we will go to Iraq and will fight them, and will even go to Lebanon and Jordan, wherever our Sheikh [ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] wants to send us.’

In a direct message to al-Baghdadi, he adds: ‘Send us, we are your sharp arrows. Throw us at your enemies, wherever they may be.’

Muthana is a former pupil of Cathays High School in Cardiff, where he received 13 GCSEs – with 12 at grade A or A*.

After completing his A-Levels, the former school council member received four offers from universiti­es to read medicine, but did not take up any. His family said he set off for Syria about eight months ago.

Muthana’s brother Aseel was studying his A-Levels, at the nearby Fitzalan High School, and had dreamed of becoming an English teacher.

Their father Ahmed Muthana, 57, said: ‘I feel very sad. I don’t know how Nasser got

‘Throw us at your enemies’

out there. I found out that he had gone to Turkey because he phoned home and spoke to my youngest son.

‘He left in November. We didn’t hear anything else until now when we have seen the video.

‘I thought he had got married out there and wasn’t coming back. There was very little I could do anyway. I didn’t think he’d got involved in jihad.’

He added of Nasser: ‘ He was very kind, very quiet and was into helping people. I thought he was quite Western in outlook. He would play football and rugby with his friends.’

He suggested his sons had been ‘ brainwashe­d’ after they began worshippin­g at different mosques and grew beards. He added: ‘They don’t represent me now and I don’t want to see them again.

‘I would love to see them go to jail if they return to the UK alive, if they even come back.’

In the ISIS video, three men sit cross-legged in a lush glade as they urge Muslims to sacrifice themselves and join them ‘in these golden t i mes’ and l eave t he ‘depression’ of living in the West behind, adding: ‘You are going to die anyway.’

One man, named as Abu Bara Al Hindi, claims he too is from Britain, and describes jihad as ‘ the cure for depression’.

Speaking in front of the extremist group’s black flag, he asks:’ Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you’ve got, the big car you’ve got, the family you have?

‘Are you willing to sacrifice this, for the sake of Allah? Definitely, if you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more than this.’ In the video entitled ‘There is no life without Jihad’ the men, who are joined by two Australian­s and other fighters, claim they are about to cross the border from Syria in to Iraq.

The third British jihadist, who calls himself Abu Dujana al Hindi, says: ’A message to the brothers who have stayed behind.

‘You have to ask yourself what prevents you from joining the ranks of the mujahideen? What prevents you from obtaining martyrdom? You are going to die anyway.’

The video, which is interspers­ed with music and religious chanting, forms part of ISIS’s global propaganda campaign, urging Muslims to post messages of support on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. It follows the publicatio­n of its ‘company accounts’ logging assassinat­ions, suicide missions and bombings.

David Cameron has warned that Britain cannot afford to ignore the chaos in Iraq and Syria because of the risk that British jihadis will bring their murderous tactics back to the UK.

He described the estimated 400 British fighters in the region as ‘the most serious threat to Britain’s security that there is today’.

A Home Office spokesman said yesterday: ‘We do not tolerate the existence of online terrorist and extremist propaganda, which directly influences people who are vulnerable to radicalisa­tion.

‘We already work closely with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas. We also continue to work with charities and community groups to help them challenge those who use the internet to promote extremist ideologies.’

Since February 2010 the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, run by the Metropolit­an Police, says it has taken down more than 34,000 unlawful terrorist-related online material which encourages or glorifies acts of terrorism.

 ??  ?? Recruiting: Nasser Muthana (centre), a medical student from Cardiff, in the video urging British Muslims to join ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria
Recruiting: Nasser Muthana (centre), a medical student from Cardiff, in the video urging British Muslims to join ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria
 ??  ?? Warcry: British extremist says jihad is a ‘cure for depression’
Warcry: British extremist says jihad is a ‘cure for depression’

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