30 July 2012, 11:48

Jihadists with “British accents” fighting Syria’s Assad

Jihadists with “British accents” fighting Syria’s Assad

The UK Foreign Office has launched an investigation into the claims of Jeroen Oerlemans, a photographer who was held hostage in Syria for a week, that some of radical Islamists had “British accents.”

Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans and UK photographer John Cantlie were attacked by anti-Assad troops when crossing the Syrian border from Turkey last week.

Although the two were blindfolded, they alleged none of their hostage-takers were Syrian. "They all claimed they came from countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh and Chechnya and they said there was some vague 'emir' at the head of the group," Mr Oerlemans said.

According to Jeroen Oerlemans, about 40 percent of the militants spoke English, while several talked with recognizable regional British accents, from Birmingham and London.  

The pair was freed by the oppositional Free Syrian Army, who demanded that their nominal allies hand them over.

"They took us with them like a bunch of gangsters, shooting in the air as we rode out of there,” Oerlemans later related.

Russia Today

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