A British jihadist has been filmed training foreign fighters in Syria, the Sunday Times reported, describing the fighters as “ninjas” as they are seen fully dressed in black in a video uploaded to YouTube.
In the clip, the Briton, aged 23 according to the newspaper, said: “There is no place better than being out on the battlefield.”
The man, who is believed to have been killed earlier this month, fought under the alias Abu Hafs al-Pakistani, according to the Times, which added that the name is seemingly a reference to his family origins.
In the video, Abu Hafs al-Pakistani spoke in a middle class British accent, but it is unclear which part of Britain he came from.
Another clip shows Abu Hafs al-Pakistani describing fighting as “one of the best moments of my life.” He says: “Your death is in front of you, there’s nothing to save you except Allah.”
“A ‘martyrdom’ video, narrated by another British fighter, claims Abu Hafs al-Pakistani was a member of the Jund al-Aqsa rebel group. He is said to have died after being shot in the eye while defending a village in northern Syria from the army of President Bashar al-Assad,” the Times reported.
In this video, the narrator says: “He was only 23 … but on the battlefield he was like a lion leading armies, and probably one of the best and most feared trained fighters.”
“More than 400 British Muslims are thought to have travelled to Syria, posing a potential security risk if they return to the UK. As many as 20 have been killed in battle,” the Times reported.
“What’s happening in Syria is a battle between Sunnis and Alawites loyal to the Assad regime. Jihadists have gone to fight for this purpose now, particularly from Britain,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Al Arabiya News on Sunday, adding that the Observatory strongly condemns this wave of jihad.
“A lot of Europeans are now going to fight in Iraq and Greater Syria to feed their jihadist ambitions,” Rahman said.
Britain has witnessed a surge in the number of Britons caught traveling or returning from crisis-torn Syria.
Last year, 25 arrests were made, while the number has now climbed to 40 for the first three months of 2014, Agence France-Presse reported.
“London, with its liberal way of life, has become a haven for all kinds of political decent in the Middle East to escape to and be active in. This kind of climate has been exploited to the fullest,” Abdallah Hamoud, a Middle East political analyst based in London told Al Arabiya News.
“… Some extremists have found welcoming factors in the policy of the British government, which has taken a stance against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and supported Syrian opposition fighters,” Hamoud added.
Last week, the first Briton was jailed for a Syria-related terror offence. Mashudur Choudhury left Britain last October with the aim of joining al-Qaeda-inspired rebels fighting regime of President Bashar al-Assad.