Sunday, 26 August 2012
A British-born doctor on leave from the NHS was part of an armed gang of Islamic extremists who took a British photographer hostage in Syria.

The doctor, who carried an AK-47 assault rifle, said he was taking a break from his medical training in London to wage holy war. He has not been identified but has a south London accent and appears to be of Pakistani descent.

He was one of a dozen British militants who held two journalists captive last month at a camp two miles inside the Syrian border. He treated their injuries after they were shot trying to escape but seemed disappointed when two other hostages, who were Syrian, were not beheaded.

“They should have been beheaded,” the doctor told John Cantlie, the British freelance photographer, and his Dutch colleague, Jeroen Oerlemans. “They were definitely spies.”

The photographers escaped on their second day in captivity but were shot at and recaptured. Oerlemans was hit in the leg and Cantlie in the arm.

The doctor used a drip, antibiotics and stitches to stabilise Oerlemans, telling the injured journalists that his experiences would help his future career in accident and emergency. An assistant, also from London, bandaged Cantlie.

The bearded medic did not name the hospital where he was training. He disguised his face with a scarf and Oakley sunglasses and wore a baseball cap. Aged about 28 or 29, he made phonecalls to a wife and young son in London while the handcuffed and blindfolded journalists were 10ft away. When asked his name, he said: “Just call me the doctor — I’m the only one here.”

As he said he had not yet specialised, he is likely to be a foundation doctor taking time off work. Such doctors may ask for a career break, usually of 12 months. They may also ask for time to gain clinical experience outside NHS training.

“He said he had taken two years out from his work as an NHS doctor to fight jihad, holy war, in Syria,” Cantlie said. “He wanted to specialise in trauma medicine when he returned. He said he’d come here ‘to help people’ — yet he carried a gun at all times and said he was also here for war.”

The doctor, who had a US army backpack, showed some kindness to the two western captives, loosening their shackles and expressing concern about their fate.

He kept his visits to the journalists brief, explaining: “I can’t be in here too long because the other guys say I’m too nice to you.”

When Cantlie asked for a text to be sent to his girlfriend saying he was alive, the doctor replied: “I can’t do that, man. I’d be beheaded.”

On the fifth day in captivity the doctor reported he had spoken to “the boss”, a Saudi, and they were going to be ransomed. “Wars are expensive and he needs the money,” he said.

On the sixth day he left, saying he was going to Homs. Cantlie and Oerlemans were freed by Syrian rebels the next day.

The doctor and the other British jihadists were part of a 40-strong group called Al Absi, which aims to convert Syria to sharia law.
Source: Sunday Times (£)

1 comments:

daithikent said...

These terrorist supporting scum, paid huge amounts of money from the UK public purse should be expelled along with all their family here when attempting to return. Victory to the lawful Gov. of Syria

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