A member of Islamist Syrian rebel group, Jabhat al-Nusra. (Reuters)
British jihadists fighting in Syria have threatened to launch a terror attack in Britain in a mark of retribution against UK airstrikes in Iraq. They claim the attack would parallel the 7/7 London bombings and beheading of soldier Lee Rigby.
Reacting to Royal Air Force (RAF) missions that have struck Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants, vehicles, and positions, a British jihadist based in the Middle East delivered an in-depth interview via social media on Wednesday.
He said that those who have travelled to war-torn Syria to fight in the region could potentially return to conduct attacks in Britain.
“Tell the Brit govt to withdraw unless they want the days of 7/7, and Adebolajo [to] become regular days,” he warned, referencing Michael Adebolajo, one of two young men who murdered Rigby in Woolwich last year.
Reflecting on the statement, senior fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) Shiraz Maher, told The Times that the jihadists were claiming Britain “is putting itself in the firing [line] because of UK intervention.”
“This man is with a group of British fighters. I would classify him as one of the more moderate ones and yet this is what he is saying,” he added.
A separate IS militant, who hails from Coventry and has adopted the alias Abu Musab al-Jazairi, took to social media to warn Britons they would be held responsible for the actions of the UK government, the Times revealed on Thursday.
“To the people in the UK – because of the actions of your government it will be you who will pay the price, blame them and not us. Everything and everyone will be targeted, it is only a matter of time before it happens inshallah [God willing],” al-Jazairi said on Twitter.
His account has since been deactivated.
At least four British jihadists have lost their lives in Syria since a US-led coalition – assembled to tackle the Islamic State – began airstrikes in the region. France, America, and a number of Gulf states extended strikes from Iraq into Syria last week.
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