A 19-year-old former private school student has become the latest British-born jihadi to die fighting for ISIS in Syria. Medhi Hassan, who used the alias Abu Dujana, is the fourth fighter from the city of Portsmouth to be killed fighting for the terror group. He died in the embattled town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border.
Hassan had previously stated his desire to return to Britain, but said he was too scared of the threat of terror charges if he arrived back in the UK, according to the Daily Mail.
His family confirmed his death in a statement that said: “We can confirm that this is indeed Mehdi Hassan. We request that the family be left to grieve.
“Mehdi was a loving boy with a good heart wishing to help Syrians. In recent months he had expressed the intention to return home but was worried about the repercussions. This is a tragedy and a lesson.”
Hassan had just finished his studies at St John’s College, a private Catholic school in Portsmouth, when he travelled to Syria with four friends to join jihad. He had been due to start a degree in international politics at Surrey University in Guildford before he made the journey.
Hassan is now the fourth jihadi from Portsmouth to be killed in Syria. Manunur Roshid, 24, one of Hassan’s friends, was also killed earlier this week, while Ifthekar Jaman and Hamidur Rahman have also died in Syria. Of the original group, only Assad Uzzaman is believed to still be alive.
The Foreign Office has said that although it has not received any reports of Hassan’s death, it is “aware of reports of the death of a British national in Syria”.
A spokesman said: “The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, where all UK consular services are suspended.
“As we do not have any representation in Syria, it is extremely difficult to get any confirmation of deaths or injuries and our options for supporting British nationals there are extremely limited.”
Hassan was also a prolific tweeter under his pseudonym Abu Dujana. In his last tweet before he died, he wrote:
Between 20-40 us strikes daily in ayn al arab. Alhamdulillah they are spending $10’s of billions…against themselves.
— Abu Dujana (@AbuDujana___) October 17, 2014
Abu Jalil, who chairs the mosque that Hassan attended, said: “It has been confirmed with the family that he has died. Right now they are very upset. I am saddened and again shocked for the community about this news.”
After Roshid’s death earlier in the week, he said that the imam would tell worshippers on Friday not to go to Syria, adding that the mosque is “very worried” about the situation.
“We are doing everything we can, we are speaking with the council, the crime prevention team. We are handing out leaflets about what is happening there,” he added.