Published: Sun, September 23, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

'Birmingham pharmacist' held as Islamic State suspect in Syria

'Birmingham pharmacist' held as Islamic State suspect in Syria

"I studied medicine and pharmacy".

The man, who said his name was Anwar Miah, was reportedly seized by Kurdish forces near the Iraqi border.

Appearing blindfolded and handcuffed in the footage, which was released last night, he tells his captors that he left the United Kingdom for Syria in 2014 and had been living in the so-called caliphate for the last four years.

Kurdish forces captured Anwar Miah in Deir al-Zour province a month ago, the BBC reported on Sunday.

"It was controlled by Daesh, and I couldn't do anything about that, but all my work was with the public". I worked in the general hospitals.

A British suspected Islamic State fighter has been caught by the UK's partner forces in Syria. I mean they were controlled by Daesh, I mean I can't do anything about that.

Shiraz Maher, director of Kings College London's International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said Miah's detention raised important questions.

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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".

He tweeted: 'One of the big questions and dilemmas for security agencies, after Islamic State lost Raqqah and Mosul, is: who died?

At least three other British men are now in Kurdish and U.S. custody in Syria, accused of being members of Isis.

The pair's capture became the subject of controversy after it emerged the Home Secretary had not sought a guarantee that they will not face execution if extradited to the USA for terror crimes.

They include two Londoners, Shafi El-Sheikh and Alexanda Kotey, who are alleged to be members of the notorious group dubbed the The Beatles. They are thought to have been part of an Isis terror cell known as "the Beatles" which was behind a series of high-profile killings of United States and UK citizens in Isis-held territory, including the British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines and the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria".

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