UK & World News

  • 23 June 2014, 10:26

Jihadist's Mother Pleads For Him To Return Home

The mother of a second Briton filmed in a militants' video calling for Western Muslims to fight in Syria and Iraq has pleaded for him to come home.

Reyaad Khan, from Cardiff, wore a headscarf and sat on the ground with a Kalashnikov assault rifle next to his shoulder in the footage.

It was released by the extremist group Islamic State Of Iraq And Syria (ISIS).

In an emotional and tearful interview with Sky News, the 20-year-old's mother made an appeal to him, saying: "Please come back before it is too late. You are my only one son."

She claimed he had been brainwashed by the militant organisation.

Another of the men who spoke in the ISIS footage has been identified as 20-year-old Nasser Muthana from Cardiff.

Sky News understands two Cardiff men who travelled to the Middle East with Muthana were arrested by police on suspicion of receiving terrorist training and attending a place used for terrorist training.

The arrests were made in March and April this year when the men returned to the UK. The pair, aged 19 and 23, were later released without charge.

It comes as a former head of counter-terrorism at MI6 told Sky News up to 300 Islamist fighters from Iraq and Syria may have returned to the UK and could be planning to carry out attacks.

Richard Barrett, who spent more than a decade tracking the Taliban in Afghanistan, told the Murnaghan programme the hundreds returning to the UK were an "absolute nightmare" for security services.

He added they did not have the resources to be able to look at all of them.

"So they have to prioritise which will be difficult. Some of them will have come to the attention before they went to Iraq and so maybe they will be at the top of the list," he said.

"But others are probably completely unknown and may be even their return is unknown and will only come to light later.

"It doesn't take a big percentage of 300 people to cause an enormous problem so I think the security services are extremely concerned about this."

On Saturday, it emerged around 500 people from Britain have joined the ISIS ranks making the job of tracking them a hugely difficult task.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan warned radicalisation in prisons was a big problem and described the inadequacy of training for prison staff to deal with the issue as "shocking".

He told Murnaghan that mosques do a good job in educating young people and called on the Government to concentrate on the spaces it can govern, such as prisons.

Meanwhile in Iraq, Sunni militants have captured four more towns in western Iraq, according to Sky sources.

Led by ISIS, they took moved from the al-Qaim border crossing they seized on Saturday to take Haditha, Anah, Rotba and Rawa on the road to Ramadi.

Iraqi government forces reportedly put down their weapons and fled as the militants arrived.