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Middle East

British Muslim dies after joining fight in Syria

In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight in August, Ifthekar Jaman said it was his 'duty' to be in Syria because Muslims were 'being slaughtered'

A 23-year-old British Muslim who left his Hampshire home to fight with the al-Qa’ida-linked group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has been killed in Syria, his family has said.

Ifthekar Jaman was one of a growing number of Britons feared to have left the UK to join the predominantly Islamic factions fighting the Syrian regime.

Departing in spring, Mr Jaman was one of a number of British fighters interviewed by British media documenting the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight in August, Mr Jaman said it was his “duty” to be in Syria because Muslims were “being slaughtered”.

In the interview, aired last month, Mr Jaman said: “I am Isis. This is the group I am with.

“We are trying to establish the law of God, the law of Allah. This is the duty on me... all these people are suffering. Muslims are being slaughtered.”

Mr Jaman’s brother, Mustakim, said his family was aware of the reasons for joining the jihad.

In the report, he said: “If he dies in his cause, then he’s not died in vain, has he? He’s doing a good deed.” Mustakim said he believed his brother had become radicalised over a long period of time but posed no threat to the UK because he had no plans to return home.

Security officials estimates that as many as 300 young Britons have travelled to fight in Syria, causing concern in security circles about the threat they pose when they return home.

But branding himself a jihadi, Mr Jaman told the BBC: “[The security services] can rest assured. I don’t plan to come back.

“It’s not a problem for them.”

The Foreign Office said it was aware of reports that a British national had died.

A government spokesman added: “As we do not have any representation in Syria, it is extremely difficult to get any confirmation of deaths or injuries and our options for supporting British nationals there are extremely limited.”