U.K. father makes treacherous trip to Syria, snatches teenaged son from clutches of ISIS
Karim Mohammadi journeyed from his home in south Wales to Syria after discovering that his son, Ahmed, 19, had allegedly joined up with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
Ahmed, a civil engineering student, is thought to have been with friends from his home city, including Reyaad Khan, 21, and Naseer Muthana, 20, who appeared in an ISIS recruitment video, when his father went to Syria to take him back home.
In his first battle serving on the front lines against ISIS, Dillon Hillier engaged the enemy in a firefight, helped liberate a town, and may have saved a fellow fighters life. It was, he said after, the greatest day of his life.
Mr. Hillier, formerly a corporal in the Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry, is a volunteer with the 1st North American Expeditionary Force, a private organization that is providing aid to anyone who wants to help the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham.
In the Nov. 26 battle, shortly after he arrived in in northern Iraq, Mr. Hillier had one main objective when he reached the town of Tel al-Ward: To take the hill.
Inside the bunkers at the top of the hill were ISIS militants, said Mr. Hillier, who was with the Kurdish Peshmerga.
His father said his son had initially travelled to Turkey as part of a humanitarian aid mission and had not taken part in any fighting in the region.
Mr. Mohammadi embarked on the treacherous journey to Syria via Turkey after becoming concerned that his son was being influenced by jihadists.
With no British government representation in Syria to assist British citizens who wish to return home, it is increasingly falling to members of their families to take on the responsibility. Earlier this month a 19-year-old Dutch girl who had travelled to Syria to marry a terrorist was rescued by her mother.
"Parents know that the British government is powerless to help them bring back their children," an intelligence source with experience of the case said. "So we expect more parents will make the dangerous journey of tracking their children and attempt to bring them back home."
Mr. Mohammadi, who is of Kurdish-Iraqi origin, is understood to have been aided in his mission by sympathetic members of the local community who put him in touch with contacts in Turkey. They helped him cross the border into Syria where he was able to locate his son and convince him to return to the U.K.
On his return, Ahmed was arrested under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act, but he was not charged and was referred to the government's de-radicalization program.
We expect more parents will make the dangerous journey of tracking their children and attempt to bring them back home
A growing number of young British men who travelled to Syria, many with the intention of assisting in humanitarian work, are returning to Britain, creating a headache for the police and security services. Some families have complained that the threat of arrest and prosecution is putting even more off returning home. It is estimated that more than 500 British citizens have travelled to the region, with some of those recruited by ISIS fighters.
While some have been killed, it is thought that around half may have returned and have been assessed by the security services.
Among the latest believed to have travelled to Syria to join ISIS are four members of one family. They include two brothers from Camden in north London and two of their cousins from the West Midlands. Scotland Yard began investigating after the families of Mejanul and Kamran Islam from Wednesbury reported them missing. It is thought they may have travelled to Turkey via Milan to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
It has been reported that the network of terrorists behind "Jihadi John," the ISIS fighter who is suspected of beheading two British and two American hostages, has been smashed. It is claimed security experts on both sides of the Atlantic have identified 12 friends and contacts who are in communication with the terrorist.
The suspects, some of whom were known to the security services, are understood to be based across the U.K. but with some in London and others in Dewsbury, West Yorks.
Via - news.nationalpost.com