British Muslim jihadis are preferred by Islamic State to undertake suicide bomb attacks because they get more publicity, claims the cousin of the most recent attacker.
Faheed Hussain, the former Mayor of Derby, was speaking after reports into the death of Kabir Ahmed in Iraq.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme he agreed with views that Western fighters who undertook suicide bombings were very important to Islamic State as they were more widely reported on than Iraqi or Syrian bombers.
He was responding to comments by Middle East journalist Paul Wood who said it was “very interesting to me that most of these suicide bombers seem to be foreign fighters.”
“It’s very important to the Islamic State to get these foreign fighters that’s why the media aspect of the Islamic state strategy is so important,” he added.
Mr Wood had conducted a detailed interview with Mr Ahmed, along with other extremist fighters and would-be suicide bombers.
And he said the international reporting of Islamic State activities and terrorist attacks is something the group wished to promote in order to attract further support from outside Syria and Iraq.
King’s College London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalism’s Director Professor Peter Neumann from has warned politicians and military advisors that the scale and extent of foreign fighter mobilisation in the current fight has “exceeded that of any conflict since the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s.”
Speaking to the United Nations Security Council he highlighted the disproportionate use of foreigners in suicide bombings, beheadings and incidents of torture. These include the London man known in the media as ‘Jihadi John’ who was filmed murdering IS hostages including British aid worker Alan Henning.
Alarmingly, experts and politicians have said that there will be more attacks by British born radicals as no one has the solution to the problem of brainwashing and assimilation into the extremist mind set.
Earlier this year Ahmed told the BBC’s Panorama programme that he was on a “waiting list” to be a suicide bomber, adding: “Everybody’s got their name on the list… everybody wants to fight.” He was lobbying commanders to ‘move up’ the waiting list, a request which seems to have been granted.
“Since his appearance on the Panorama programme most people who knew Kabir Ahmed were convinced that a news of this nature would emerge sooner or later; it was just a matter of time” said Mr Hussain.
“If it can happen to him it can happen to others” said Mr Hussain. “We can’t discount this happening again…there are enough young people around who are still trying to do something.”