Alan Henning murder 'backfired' on Isis

The beheading of the aid worker deterred would-be jihadists from joining the militant group, according to an anti-radicalisation worker

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The Independent Online

The brutal murder of British hostage Alan Henning by Isis has reportedly deterred many young Muslims from joining the militant group.

Far from acting as a propaganda tool to recruit would-be jihadists, the beheading of the aid worker has “shifted Muslim opinion wholesale”, according to an anti-radicalisation worker.

Sulaimaan Samuel, a national safeguarding mentor for Channel, the Home Office's scheme to prevent adults and children becoming involved in terrorism, told Sky News that the orchestrated killing of the 47-year-old had “backfired” on the extremists.

Mr Samuel said: “The announcement that they were going to execute him, kill him - this really did shift public opinion and it shifted Muslim opinion wholesale.

“I would personally say to Alan Henning's family: do not think his death has been some type of waste because it hasn't, because his death at the hands of IS is the very thing that has caused the Muslim community to realise that what IS stands for is wrong and can never be condoned.”

He went on: “In Alan's death he has managed to save thousands of lives now and in the future of people who might potentially have been drawn into going out. He will be saving lives in the future.”

Mr Samuel added that the greatest threat from radicalisation now came from online content, and those travelling to a foreign country or being influenced by a single preacher happened “much more rarely”.

Previously a taxi driver in Salford, Henning gave up spending Christmas with his family to go to Syria in December 2013. It was his fourth tip to the Middle East.

He was seized by Isis in the town of Ad-Dana on Boxing Day; in October the group released a video purporting to show his murder.

Fellow Briton David Haines was also killed by IS militants, following the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, while another Briton, journalist John Cantlie, remains in the hands of the terrorist group.