26 Feb 2019: A British man of Bangladeshi origin, who travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State, has urged the UK to let him return home with his wife and children. Mohammed Anwar Miah, 40, spoke to the Daily Mail from a facility near a Kurdish prison in Syria’s Al-Hakasah province where he is currently being detained after being captured last year.
A disgraced pharmacist from Birmingham, Miah treated IS fighters while working in a hospital in Mayadin town for four years. But he claimed he never swore allegiance to the caliphate and that he was “proud to be British”. Miah used the name Abu Obayda al-Britannia during his time with the caliphate. Miah is one of the six suspected Jihadi Britons being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces, along with two members of the notorious ‘Beatles’ gang responsible for beheading British hostages.
His plea to return to the UK follows that of Shamima Begum, another British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, who recently gave birth at a Syrian refugee camp. Shamima, 19, had expressed no regret for joining the group and was stripped of her UK citizenship — a move that gave rise to debate on what should happen to foreigners who had joined the IS.
The UK decision to take away her citizenship was based on the claim that she was also a citizen of Bangladesh, since International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship. But Miah said he was in “remorse for coming to Syria”. He claimed that he was unaware of the numerous atrocities that were being committed by the IS, and that he had gone over to the caliphate for “humanitarian work”.
“If they want to punish me, they can punish me. If they want to monitor me I have no problem. I am in remorse for coming to Syria and if I could go back in time I wouldn’t come to Syria.” Miah, who like Shamima was born in Britain, said “he would rather stay in prison than be sent to Bangladesh”.
“I have been to Bangladesh two or three times in my life. I don’t have a Bangladesh passport. I only have one nationality – British.” He said he has not spoken to his mother since he told her he was “going on holiday for three weeks and never returned”.
“In an ideal situation I would like to take my wife and my children back to Britain with me and just live a normal life. If she can live there and she’s not allowed health care OK so be it. I’ve never claimed any benefits in my life. I’ve always worked for a living and paid taxes”
Around 1 month ago a #YPG #SDF patrol arrested this ISIS terrorist from the city of #Birmingham #UK in #DeirEzzor near #Hajin. He claim he’s only a doctor (Yeah right lol) and that he worked in #ISIS territory for the last 4 years.#TwitterKurds
Miah was identified as a ‘doctor’ after being detained by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces while trying to flee on a motorbike with his Syrian wife and nine-month old daughter ‘Mariam’ in August last year.
He refused to name his wife and said he did not know where she was being held with their daughter, and another child she gave birth to following her capture. Miah said his children are British citizens and that Britain had a responsibility to take all its citizens back and rehabilitate them.
“I’m not a danger to the public. But if they feel that I am a danger I am more than happy to enter into any rehabilitation programme.”
In 2013, Miah was struck off the pharmacist register for inventing ‘phantom’ employees, which enabled him to work more hours in violation of EU legislation.
He said he worked at the Mayadin hospital as an orthopaedic surgeon, “learning from a book as he went”. He claimed he never knowingly treated an IS fighter – though when pushed he admitted he ‘probably’ did.
“You would get people coming in who were probably fighters but they would come in as a normal civilian who needed medical care and you would just treat them.”
In 2017, he married a Syrian whom he met at the hospital. IS members enjoyed the privilege of receiving young women they pick as brides, but Miah insisted that he married her because she was “a nice person”. “I married her because I felt she was a nice person and a good person. She is nothing to do with IS. My wife would have given birth now. I don’t know if it is boy or girl. I don’t know where they are.” (Courtesy: BD News 24.Com)