Why are the westerners fighting jihad always British? Never mind, I think we already know the answer to that question.
(Telegraph) — A British Muslim convert from east London is fighting on the front line of the battle for Aleppo after joining rebels in their struggle against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The jihadist, who lived in Walthamstow, has joined an Islamist brigade as it fights for control of Syria’s second city.
While he refused to give his real name, he agreed to speak to The Daily Telegraph in a field hospital behind the front line in the contested Aleppo suburb of Salaheddin. The Londoner, who called himself “Abu Yacoub” — father of Jacob — is the first proven case of a Briton being where the fighting is fiercest in Syria.
He was with an Iraqi friend, Hassan, who had received a minor bullet wound in the leg, and was taking him to the field hospital for treatment.
He disclosed that he had converted to Islam five years ago and had arrived in Syria earlier this year to join the revolutionary forces seeking to overthrow President Assad.
“I will stay here until I die,” he said. “I want to die in Syria. We must all taste paradise, and when that happens is decided already.” [...]
Members of Ahrar al-Sham are largely followers of Salafi Islam, the conservative, but not necessarily violent, version followed in Saudi Arabia. It is less feared than Jubhat al-Nusra, which is said to be allied to al-Qaeda and which announced its existence this year with a claim of responsibility for a number of bombing attacks on regime targets.
Despite concerns in the West and among their own ranks, rebel leaders say they accept help from Islamist groups and foreigners, and will deal with the consequences later.
However, even within the radical Islamist brigades, foreign fighters are a small minority and mostly from Arab countries, including Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco,