A third British citizen fighting for the the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group has been killed during fighting in Syria, a newspaper in his UK hometown of Portsmouth reported.
Committee chairman of the Portsmouth’s Jami Mosque Abdul Jalil told the Portsmouth News that Manunur Roshid is the third man from his city to be killed in fighting, following Ifthekar Jaman, 23, and Mohamed Hamidur Rahman, 25.
“It is probable that Roshid died in the battle for Kobane as another of his Portsmouth counterparts, Muhammad Mehdi Hasan, is known to be fighting there, although we haven’t been able to independently verify this yet,” Shiraz Maher, a senior researcher at King’s College’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalism told the Guardian.
“We are very worried. They are on the front line. Five people went there and three have been killed,” Jalil said, adding that he has seen reports that a fourth man from Portsmouth has been hospitalized in Syria.
“It is a very big shock for their parents and we are working with the community to make sure that [something like this] does not happen again.”
Roshid, 24, is believed to have left his hometown for Syria in October last year. While his family received news of his death on Sunday, it is reported that Roshid was killed on Friday.
The city’s council and police are working with the Muslim community to report suspected radicalized behavior, Portsmouth leader Donna Jones said.
“We are working with the police, the crime prevention team and the council to warn people, our youngsters especially, telling them not to go to Syria and also to get parents to watch their children,” Jalil explained.
Sumel Chowdhury, a Portsmouth community worker asserted that the city’s Muslim community did not support the views of the five men believed to have joined ISIS.
“In my view, they did not do a good thing. They did completely the wrong thing. We believe in peace, humanity and mankind,” he was quoted as saying by the Portsmouth News.
“Islam does not say to kill people. It is completely unacceptable.”
The newspaper reports that four people were arrested earlier this month in Portsmouth for suspicion of terrorist-related activities.
The King’s College’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalism has so far confirmed that 25 British militants have been killed fighting for ISIS, Maher said.
“The Portsmouth cluster of fighters is perhaps one of the best known. In total, six men went to join Islamic State [ISIS] last year. Now three are dead, one returned to the UK and is in jail, and two remain fighting in Syria.”