On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron revealed in the House of Commons that a drone strike carried out on 21 August killed two British Islamic State jihadists.
Reyaad Khan, 21 born in Cardiff, and Ruhul Amin, from Aberdeen travelled to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State in November 2013 after supposedly being brainwashed from hearing IS propaganda videos and messages.
David Cameron revealed that the pair who were travelling in the same car near Raqqa, Syria were killed in a targeted drone strike.
The PM came under fire in the Commons, mainly from the acting Leader of the Opposition, the Labour Party’s Harriet Harman due to Cameron having previously ruled out military action in Syria. Harman was calling for the documents detailing the basis of the attack to be published.
The strike was the first UK drone attack on a British citizen and was carried out by a remotely piloted aircraft.
Cameron claimed that the act was “self defence” and took place only after “meticulous planning”.
The British government had gained intelligence that the two British Islamic State jihadists were plotting attacks on high-profile public commemorations that eventually took place without incidence in the UK this summer, including a plot to kill the Queen. Cameron stated that the attorney general had been consulted and it was agreed that there was a clear basis for the targeted drone strike.
The news came as a shock to Khan’s family and local community from Riverside in Cardiff who were said to be praying for his wellbeing and eventual safe return. “The news is shocking and we never expected it to come to this” said Mohammed Islam a family friend.
A high achiever, Khan was set to be driven in pursuing a career in politics and said that he wanted to become the country’s first Asian Prime Minister. However his views, dreams and aspirations soon changed. He stated that the British government was wasting valuable resources on “illegal wars” and that the world needs to “get rid of the evil”. Khan then travelled to Syria to take up arms with the IS militants. He began posting radical messages on his social media accounts and using them as a platform to boast about the murders that he had committed.
Amin, also killed in the drone strike was raised in Aberdeen and described the moment he left for Syria as the “happiest of my life”. Weeks later he was thought to have been killed by an Iraqi army Swat team but he was later discovered to be contacting his sister, telling her to come and join the fight.
The danger is that people from around the world will continue to be recruited to fight with IS and brainwashed into thinking that the West is evil and that they’re doing the right thing by killing non-believers. They also have no fear of death, which makes them a dangerous prospect to face and fight against. When in Syria, Amin said “if I die I’ll be with Allah. I have no fear whatsoever