Iraq crisis: British jihadi fighting for Isis in Syria was ‘radicalised by imam at Coventry mosque’, father says

June 24, 2014

A British teenager who went to fight for Sunni militants in Syria was radicalised by an imam at his local mosque in Coventry, the boy’s father has claimed. Rahim Kalantar said his son Ali, 18, had now been in the Middle East for three months and was believed to have joined jihadists with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or Isis. Speaking to the BBC’s Afghan Service and Newsday, Mr Kalantar said his son had been planning to study computer science at university but was encourage taking up radical views during evening classes at a mosque.

Ali was believed to have travelled to join the fighting with two friends from Coventry, one of whom was understood to have posted on Twitter that he was now with Isis.

Last night Lord Richards, the chief of the defence staff until July last year, warned the House of Lords that our Armed Forces are “not good enough” to deal with the danger posed by returning terrorists.

The identification of the three from Coventry came after the emergence of an apparent recruitment video for Isis was posted to YouTube, which includes 20-year-olds Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan from Cardiff.

Speaking to the Independent on Sunday, former MI6 counter-terrorism head Richard Barrett said hundreds of veteran fighters from Syria and Iraq were already back in Britain, and that UK security forces face an “impossible” task keeping track of them all.