A British citizen and former ice cream merchant who fled the UK to join ISIS terrorists in Syria has been tracked back to a prison in northern Syria. He’s now begging for the British government to allow him to come home because he misses his mother and life in Wales.
Aseel Muthana first left his home in Wales to join the Islamic State in February 2014 along with his brother Nasser and another radicalized friend, Reeyad Khan, the Telegraph reports. Before that, he had worked as an ice-cream seller in Cardiff.
Aseel, his brother Nasser, and Khan were all featured in one of ISIS’s very first propaganda videos used to recruit western jihadists.
Muthana had been presumed dead up until recently when he resurfaced in a terrorist prison camp in northern Syria. Now he’s begging the UK government to let him return ‘home’.
But the British government hasn’t been so sympathetic to UK-born extremists who’ve traveled abroad to fight for militant jihadist groups like ISIS, stripping them of citizenship.
In an interview with ITV, Muthana, who’s now 22-years-old, claims in that that he first joined the Islamic State and made his way to Syria simply to ‘help the poor’.
“Back then when I first came to Isis, you have to understand I came way before the caliphate was pronounced,” said Muthana to the interviewer.
“Before all of these beheading videos, before all of the burnings happened, before any of that stuff. We came when Isis propaganda and Isis media was all about helping the poor, helping the Syrian people. We stuck with the people you know from the UK and from Wales…. the Welsh guys… me and my brother and Reyaad.”
Nasser and Reyaad are both believed to have been killed in a drone attack. Muthana is one of about 5,000 inmates who are currently sitting in a secret Syrian prison.
The UK Home Office estimates that approximately 900 British citizens left the country to fight for groups like ISIS. About 200 are believed to have been killed while close to 360 have returned to Britain. Anti-terror security forces surmise that up to 200 UK-born jihadists are still alive and would pose a very real security threat if they ever were to return to Britain.