The family of a 17 year old teen who became UK’s youngest ever suicide bomber after blowing himself in Iraqi town of Baiji, says that he was a “loving, caring and affable” boy whose “naivety” was exploited by the ISIS.
The Islamic State published pictures of the boy on the social media, calling him Abu Yusuf al-Britani.
The pictures were tweeted by terror monitoring agency SITE Intel Group.
The boy whose real name was Talha Asmal, hailed from Britain’s Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and his family issued a statement expressing grief and shock.
The family of the teen said that they were left heartbroken and devastated by the “unspeakable tragedy”.
Describing Talha as a “loving, kind, caring and affable teenager,” the family said,
“He never harboured any ill-will against anybody nor did he ever exhibit any violent, extreme or radical views of any kind. Talha’s tender years and naivety were, it seems however, exploited by persons unknown, who, hiding behind the anonymity of the worldwide web, targeted and befriended Talha and engaged in a process of deliberate and calculated grooming of him”.
The family added that the ISIS did not represent Islam and Muslims and “we are no longer prepared to allow a barbaric group like ISIS to hijack our faith… ISIS Not and Never in our name”.
“Whilst there it appears that Talha fell under the spell of individuals who continued to prey on his innocence and vulnerability to the point where, if the press reports are accurate, he was ordered to his death by so-called Isis [also known as IS] handlers and leaders too cowardly to do their own dirty work,” said the family statement.
Some 700 British citizens have left UK for Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, officials said.
The ISIS claimed a string of suicide bombings recently in the town of Baiji in Iraq, flaunting the foreign fighters responsible for it.
Other suicide bombings were staged by a German, two Dagestanis, a Kuwaiti, a Palestinian, and a Turkistani (Uyghur).