Talha Asmal death: 'Godfather of jihad' says teenagers do have a choice in joining Isis, as parents condemn militants over 'Britain's youngest suicide bomber'

'Devastated' family condemns Isis and say the group will not 'hijack our faith'

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The Independent Online

Former radical Muslim recruiter, Abu Muntasir – known as “the godfather” of the British jihadi movement – has said he refuses to accept that youngsters going to fight in the Middle East have no choice in the wake of the death of 'Britain's youngest suicide bomber'.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “There is grooming, no doubt – I know how we used to convince people by ignoring a lot of facts on the ground, ignoring reality and alternative views amongst Muslims and Muslim teaching.

“So the parents need to have more communication with their children. They need to have more of an overseeing aspect of how to be a good parent.”

Talha Asmal, 17, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was one of four suicide bombers who attacked forces near an oil refinery south of Baiji by detonating a car packed with explosives – as part of an Islamic State attack – after being groomed online by Isis fanatics, killing 11.

“It’s totally despicable what he [Talha] has done. It is an abhorrent crime and we should be very careful,” added Mr Muntasir.

The family of the teenager say they have been left “utterly devastated and heartbroken” after he reportedly blew himself up in Iraq.

Studying ICT and business at Mirfield Free Grammar School, reports suggest that Talha told his family he would be away for a few days on a trip, but they became concerned when they could not contact him and alerted the police.

Described as being a ‘sweet-natured, friendly kid’, Talha’s family said the Isis cause was not supported by the Muslim community and added: “The entire family unreservedly condemns and abhors all acts of violence wherever perpetrated.

“As a family, we would like to take this opportunity to unequivocally state that ISIS are not Islam. They do not represent – in any way, shape or form – Islam and Muslims and we are no longer prepared to allow a barbaric group like Isis to hijack our faith.”

Former Labour MP for Dewsbury, Shahid Malik, described how it was “disturbing” to see how relaxed Talha looks in Isis photographs, allegedly taken prior to the suicide mission, and said: “He looks at peace. It’s like he’s ready to go and meet his maker.

“This is a clear indication of just how successful the evil Isis groomers have been in poisoning and brainwashing Talha and kids like him.”

IS is a radical Islamist group that has consistently seized large areas across eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.

It is believed that at least 700 people from the UK have travelled to support, or fight, for jihadist organisations in the area, with the majority of Brits joining Isis.