Brother willing to die in Syria

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Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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A young British jihadi whose two brothers have died fighting in war-torn Syria tonight revealed he was willing to suffer the same fate.

Former finance student Amer Deghayes, 20, said he had promised Allah that he would continue on the path of jihad “until I get killed”.

He left his family home in Saltdean, near Brighton, East Sussex, with his brothers Jaffar and Abdullah in January in a bid to overthrow dictator Bashar Assad’s government.

Abdullah, 18, died in Latakia province in April after reportedly taking up arms with Jabhat al-Nusra, an al Qaida-affiliated group.

And this week Amer relayed news of the death of 17-year-old Jaffar to their father, Abubaker Deghayes, back home in Britain.

Tonight Amer said he was prepared to follow in his two brothers’ footsteps and die for the cause. He told ITV News: “It makes me more determined to get what they got.

“It is the real victory … is martyrdom. It is the greatest success a person can attain as you are assured the highest level of paradise.”

He added: “I’m willing to die on the part of Allah, that’s my main aim. I have promised Allah that I will stay on the way of jihad until I get killed.”

Their father said this week that the Government’s strategy to deal with Britons who travel to Syria is “criminalising” young people and must be changed.

He claimed many people who have gone to Syria are “youngsters who made a mistake and it should be dealt with like that”.

He urged the Government to re-think its tactics in dealing with those who travel there.

“The strategy you are using with our sons does not work,” he said. “You are criminalising them just out of the fear they might become a threat to this country.

“Do not push them to be radicalised, used by groups like Isis who are out for revenge and thirst for blood.

“You should have a strategy where we teach youngsters here in this country to work in relief work and to know and to experience how to help in a civilised manner.

“And also have an exit strategy for those who went there. They can’t come back without the fear of their own people, their own government.

“They should be treated like youngsters who made a mistake and it should be dealt with like that, not just sent to prison. The stick of the law does not work all the time.

“Mr Cameron, please revise your strategy and the Government’s strategy at this point. It’s very vital, it’s very important. We do not want to lose more youngsters.”

Mr Deghayes has also appealed to all young Muslims who were thinking of travelling to Syria not to go and not to put their families through “what we are going through”.

The Deghayes brothers are the nephews of Omar Deghayes, who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay detention camp between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan.

Following the death of Abdullah earlier this year, counter-terrorism officers raided the Deghayes’ family home in May and seized material after a warrant was issued under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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