Jihadi fighter who died in Syria ‘wanted to return home to Portsmouth’

A picture of Assad Uzzaman posted on the internet
A picture of Assad Uzzaman posted on the internet
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  • Assa Uzzaman, 25, has died after travelling to fight in Syria
  • Mehdi Hassan, Manunur Roshid, Muhammad Hamidur Rahman and Ifthekar Jaman all died previously
  • Muslim community leader said final death sends strong message to those heading down ‘wrong path’
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THE last man from a group who travelled from Portsmouth to fight in Syria died after telling his family he wanted to return to this country, The News can reveal.

Assad Uzzaman, 25, went to the war-torn country with four friends in October 2013 to join another man already in the country fighting with Islamic State in Levant (Isil).

One by one they went to the wrong path and they’ve lost their lives

Abu-Suyeb Tanzam

But late on Saturday night, news of his death emerged after academic Shiraz Maher posted it on Twitter.

Mr Maher maintains a database at the The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. He said: ‘The last of the Portsmouth cluster of fighters with Islamic State, Assad Uzzaman (Abu Abdullah) has died.’

But The News has learnt Mr Uzzaman wept when he told his family he wanted to leave Syria but could not do so due to the extremists he was with.

He also feared communications with family back home in Portsmouth were being monitored by Isil chiefs.

Few details are available about his death but yesterday supporters online were praising him as a ‘martyr’.

Local community leader Abu-Suyeb Tanzam disagrees and said: ‘One by one they went to the wrong path and they’ve lost their lives.

‘It was waiting to happen. It’s a very strong signal for all Muslims.’

He added: ‘It’s a signal for all these young people who are thinking about, or have sympathy with Isil. People don’t realise what the reality and the consequences are when they are there.’

Mr Uzzaman travelled to the country in October 2013 and was the cousin of Ifthekar Jaman, 23, from Somers Town, who also died in the fighting in December 2013.

The group flew from Gatwick Airport in October 2013 to Turkey before crossing the border. They called themselves the Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys.

All have now died, including Mehdi Hassan, 19, a former pupil at St John’s College in Southsea, who died in October last year, and Manunur Roshid, 24, from Buckland.

They are believed to have died in fighting at Kobane, a Syrian border city.

Primark supervisor Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25, died in August last year. The deaths have previously prompted condemnations of those who radicalise young men.

Mashudur Choudhury, 31, from the city, was one of the group. He was jailed for four years over terror offences in December last year.