WATCH: British ‘Pharmacist from Birmingham’ Detained in Islamic State Syria

Islamic State flag

A British man, who says he is a doctor and pharmacist from Birmingham, has reportedly been detained in Syria on suspicion of being a member of the Islamic State.

Claiming his name is Anwar Miah, he was allegedly apprehended by Kurdish forces last month near Hajin in Deir al-Zour, a province on the border with Iraq.

Footage showing him being questioned by his captors and speaking in a Midlands accent has emerged on social media.

In the clip, he says he has been in the country for “just under four years” living under Islamic State, or “Daesh”, but seeks to distance himself from terrorists by insisting he works in medicine.

Asked if he is a member of Islamic State, he says: “I’m a doctor. I’m a qualified pharmacist from the UK. I studied medicine and pharmacy.”

When questioned on why he is in the area, he replies: “I came here to work with the general people and to help people work in their general hospitals. I’ve been working in the hospitals since I came.”

Asked again if he was with the terror group, he claims: “The areas that I worked in were controlled by Daesh, but I work with the general people. I work in the general hospitals.

“I mean I don’t… I mean they were controlled by Daesh, I mean I can’t do anything about that. All my work was with the public.”

It is not possible to verify the authenticity of the video or the man’s identity at this point, but an article in the pharmacist’s trade magazine Chemist and Druggist records a Mohammed Anwar Miah being struck off the pharmacist’s register in 2014.

The director of Kings College London’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation Shiraz Maher said the man’s alleged detention raised questions over how many foreigners remain in the region with the terror group.

He tweeted: “One of the big questions and dilemmas for security agencies, after Islamic State lost Raqqah and Mosul, is: who died? Who survived? How many got away and where are they now?”

He added: “So although we see Anwar Miah in the video saying he’s a pharmacist/doctor, and even if that was his primary role within the group, it’s also extremely likely he was a fighter too.”


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