UK probes British Pakistanis’ ‘support’ to Syrian extremists
LONDON: The British government has started an investigation after the revelation that some British Muslims of Pakistani origin have joined extremist groups in Syria to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al Assad.
British journalist John Cantlie and Jeroen Oerlemans were captured almost immediately after crossing the Turkish border and held for a week at an extremist training camp in northwestern Syria, revealed British extremists with "Birmingham and South London accents”, who were among a group that shot a British war photographer and his Dutch colleague after taking them hostage in Syria last week.
The photographers, who were both shot during a failed escape attempt, were freed on Thursday night during a raid on the camp by members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who returned them to Turkey. Cantlie, who has reported for several British newspapers, said the militants who detained them included several radical Muslims from Britain who were intent on overthrowing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. As he recovered at the weekend, he told the Sunday newspaper in an email, "Shot in the arm, smashed feet after a botched escape attempt, but safe and sound. Before we were rescued, 30 percent of the extremists who held us were British.” Oerlemans said that their captors were militants from Britain, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Chechnya. He told the Dutch media that some of the group, described as between 30 and 100 strong, had "Birmingham accents”. (...)