First British suicide bomber found in Syria

First British suicide bomber found in Syria
Sat Feb 8, 2014 08:54:21

A British citizen is believed to have carried out a suicide bombing in Syria, according to a leading research unit.

Fellow British extremists currently operating in northwestern Syria have said that a man, known as Abu Suleiman al-Britani, drove a vehicle packed with explosives into Aleppo Central Prison on Thursday, Sky News reported on Friday.

If confirmed, it will be the first suicide attack carried out by someone who has travelled from the UK to engage in the foreign-hatched insurgency against Syria.

Monitoring groups claimed the attack, which was followed by a gun battle, enabled up to 300 prisoners to break free from the government-controlled compound, a claim denied by Syrian authorities.

Initial reports of the role played by al-Britani emerged on Twitter late Thursday.

Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization at Kings College in London, made contact with British citizens known to be in Syria in order to confirm the reports.

In one of his communications with a British extremist, thought to be associated with the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, he received the response: "Yes, news travels fast. The first British brother!"

The militant then added that a suicide video made by al-Britani would shortly be posted online.

No further details were given about when he travelled to Syria, or where he comes from in the UK.

However, a photograph of a construction truck was posted online with claims that it was the vehicle used by al Britani.

A recent British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.

The defense consultancy, IHS Jane's estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front, and the rest fight for different militant groups.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the country.


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