As the hunt for the ‘world’s most wanted’ man, Jihadi John, intensifies, the Daily Mail has reported that Britain’s security services are seeking to contact an NHS doctor and his brother, the latter of whom is believed to be fighting with ISIS.
The government believes the suspended Accident and Emergency (A&E) doctor may have met Jihadi John, the ‘Black Beatle’, while in Syria in 2012 and can assist in enquiries.
Dr Shajul Islam, 23, was interred at Belmarsh High Security Prison for a year after he was arrested and charged for the kidnap of British journalist John Cantlie and a dutch photographer. Cantlie claimed after he was shot trying to escape from jihadist captivity in Syria he was treated by a British fighter who said he was an NHS doctor. For reasons unknown Cantile was not able to give evidence at the trial, which subsequently collapsed.
Shajul appears to have strong family connections to Islamic terrorism. His elder brother Najul was charged in the same 2012 trial over the kidnap and shooting of John Cantile, suggesting they had been in Syria together during the tumultuous early days of the insurrection there. Najul was alleged to have engaged in acts of terrorism in 2012, and of having paid for his brothers travel to Syria and equipment including night-vision goggles and rifle optics.
Now it is reported that Shajul’s younger brother Razul is also involved, and is on the Government’s watch-list of British Citizens presently fighting with terrorist group ISIS.
In pre-trial proceedings, Cantlie said Shajul was part of a group of foreign Islamist fighters in Syria, of whom half were British. According to a Daily Mail report from 2012:
“A heavily bearded Islamic fanatic, he told his prisoners he had taken a sabbatical from his NHS job to wage a ‘holy war’ in Syria… He also told them that he was planning to return to his senior post in a South London A&E department.”
Islam maintained his innocence throughout the case, insisting that he travelled to Turkey and on to Syria after he qualified as a doctor in London to render humanitarian aid in the warzone.
Although his involvement with terrorist group and ISIS forerunner Jabhat Al Nusra was never proven in court, MI6 and the Police believe Shajul was sufficiently well connected in Syria to have known the killer of journalist James Foley.
Pressure is growing on Western leaders to take action over ISIS, whose acts of brutality in Iraq and Syria seem to increase daily.
There has been an apparent lack of willingness to take the matter seriously, with Barack Obama only taking five minutes out of a game of golf yesterday to make a statement on the murder of James Foley, and the British Prime minister refusing to recall parliament.