ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – British extremists are being trained to carry out suicide attacks once they return to the United Kingdom, an Islamic State (IS) militant captured by Kurdish forces in Syria said.
The IS member claimed European extremists were sent to join the al-Kharsa Brigade once they arrived in Syria where they would undergo months of training, RT reported.
“It takes seven months to be trained in [the] al-Kharsa brigade,” the fighter reportedly said under investigation.
The militant mentioned the training regime was “very hard,” adding all Europeans who enter Syria are offered the opportunity to join.
“If 20 start the training, only five finish it,” he said. “Then, after that, they go back to Europe and attack.”
According to the fighter, within the two years he spent in IS territory, he knew of 50 European extremists from various countries in Europe like Britain, Germany, and France, who returned.
The IS member said “training involved ideological indoctrination, bomb making, and arduous physical fitness training,” according to RT.
Recent attacks in Paris and Brussels were carried out by the al-Khasra trained extremists, the militant claimed.
“The attack that happened in Paris and Brussels, the attackers were trained by [al-Khasra] and left from Syria to Europe,” he said.
“Sometimes, some foreigners come to Syria and receive training for specific missions,” the fighter continued. “Then they carry out the attacks alone.”
The arrested IS member also revealed there were “sleeper cells in Europe who want to join” IS in Syria but cannot.
He claimed they remain in their countries and maintain contact with the extremist group to organize attacks.
Europe has recently been put on high alert by Interpol as 173 suspected IS foreign fighters are believed to be planning attacks once they return to their home countries.
Editing by G.H. Renaud