British student first ISIS supporter from UK to die in Syrian custody: Report
London, July 12
A 27-year-old student from London, who fled Britain to join the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria in 2014, has become the first known ISIS recruit from the UK to die in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Ishak Mostefaoui, an Algerian-origin student at the University of Westminster, was killed while attempting to escape the SDF custody recently, according to a BBC report.
It is believed that the death occurred during serious disorder in jail in Hassakeh, which houses the ISIS prisoners from various countries. The BBC said the death and surrounding circumstances had not been officially confirmed.
After being captured last year, Mostefaoui was held in a prison in north-east Syria — a former school converted into a prison — controlled by the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
Sources told the British broadcaster that he was one of around 10 British men and 30 British women being held by the militia but he was the first to die in the SDF custody.
In April 2014, Mostfaoui told his father that he was going to Amsterdam for a few days, leaving with just a small bag and he then secretly made his way to Syria. In 2018, he had his British citizenship revoked. When the BBC spoke to him there last October, he admitted joining the ISIS.
“Those who chose to leave the UK and fight for or support Daesh (ISIS), potentially pose a very serious national security risk,” a UK government spokesperson said.
The British government has refused to allow adult prisoners to return to the UK, saying they should be put on trial in the region.
The BBC said it had been given the two versions: that he was shot while trying to escape and the other that he was killed during recent rioting.
An ISIS propaganda channel on a messaging app claims he was killed while trying to get water during a siege of the prison that also saw food and medication withheld from inmates.