Counter-terrorism police search Portsmouth house linked to jihadi fighter killed in Syria

Attacker followed his victim for a mile before assault in city alleyway

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COUNTER-TERRORISM police have swooped on a home linked to a jihadi fighter who died in Syria.

Officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit yesterday searched a house in Hudson Road, Somers Town, Portsmouth as part of an international investigation.

Police at the scene in Hudson Road

Police at the scene in Hudson Road

The property – which police began searching on Tuesday morning – was the family home of Ifthekar Jaman, who was killed in Syria in December after travelling to the war-torn country to fight government troops.

Mr Jaman (pictured) was taking part in jihad – a holy war fought by Muslims – with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) which, until February of this year, had links to Al-Qaeda.

A police spokesman said: ‘Officers from Hampshire Constabulary are carrying out a search warrant at an address in Portsmouth.

‘It is supported by officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit.’

Ifthekar Jaman

Ifthekar Jaman

The spokesman said the search was made using powers under the Terrorism Act in connection with an ongoing international investigation.

Residents have been reassured that the investigation was not connected to a terrorist threat in Portsmouth.

He added: ‘We would like to reassure residents that the search activity is in relation to issues overseas, and is not linked to any threat to local communities or anywhere else in the UK.’

Residents in Hudson Road said they were shocked to learn the two-day raid on the house involved counter-terrorism police.

Student Portia Reynolds, 21, said: ‘I saw there were about seven police officers at the house, and the police stayed day and night.

‘We didn’t want to ask what it was about and thought it was a drugs-bust.

‘I was quite shocked to hear it might be to do with terrorism.

‘I saw the police were inspecting a car outside the house for a long time, so I thought it was about drugs. There’s never any trouble in the street.

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘There’s been loads of police officers going in and out.

‘When I was walking past they were wearing what looked like forensics outfits.’

Robert Deverill, who also lives nearby, said he thought the couple who lived in the house had been taken away by police and their car had been confiscated.

He said police had been in the road since about 9.30am Tuesday.

Mr Deverill said: ‘Yesterday there were lots of police in white rubber boots coming in and out.

‘It looked like they were doing DNA swabs.’