Four prominent British Isis fighters placed on UN sanctions list

The sanctions will mean that those on the list will be unable to travel or access money

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The Independent Online

Four British Isis fighters have been put on the UN sanctions list, the Government has announced.

The sanctions will mean that the four Britons will be unable to travel to any country that is a UN member, or keep their money in any bank account in a UN country.

The Government decided to take the unusual step of having its own nationals subjected to sanctions in an effort to discourage more people from travelling to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamist group.

It is almost 10 years since a similar request was made - in 2006, a number of British al-Qaeda fighters were placed under sanctions at the request of Tony Blair's government.

The people submitted for sanctions are Omar Hussain, a man from High Wycombe who recently wrote a blog post bemoaning the 'bad manners' of Arab Isis fighters, Nasser Muthana, from Cardiff, who has appeared on video beheading Syrian soldiers, Aqsa Mahmood, a Glaswegian woman who became a prominent online recruiter after joining Isis, and Sally Jones from Kent, a 45-year-old former punk rocker turned Isis recruiter.

Aqsa Mahmood is a prominent Isis recruiter

These are some of the more well-known of the roughly 700 British people thought to have travelled to the Middle East to join Isis.

Some are believed to currently be holed up in the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, where RAF drone strikes killed two British militants in August - Reyaad Khan, 21, from Cardiff, and Ruhul Amin, 26, from Aberdeen.

The sanctions were approved the night before prime minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama were due to attend a meeting on how to tackle the extremist group at the UN general assembly in New York.

As reported by The Guardian, Cameron will use his platform at the event to announce a £10 million unit based in London that will work to fight Isis' propaganda machine.

The paper also cited a Downing Street source who said that the sanctions are intended more as a symbolic deterrent, naming them as Britain's most wanted Isis fighters.

By spreading information of the harsh realities of life under Isis - the rape, slavery, food shortages and violence - it is hoped that the government will be able to take the lead in the propaganda war from the militants.


The number of Britons believed to have travelled to Syria or Iraq to join Isis

This month, the International Centre of the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence reported that many Isis fighters are beginning to defect, after realising that the promises made in propaganda videos don't match up with the reality.

As well as complaining about the lack of promised luxury goods and cars, many defectors said they became disillusioned by the dull nature of their duties, the brutality of the group, and the squabbling and in-fighting of the Isis leadership.