Talha Asmal, a teenager from Britain who fled the country to join the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) is reported to have become Britain’s youngest suicide bomber after reportedly blowing himself up in Iraq.
Asmal, 17, was one of four suicide bombers who attacked forces near an oil refinery south of Baiji.
Photos released by the ISIS media show Asmal next to a black Toyota SUV with his finger raised and an ISIS flag behind him.
Reportedly, a statement by the terror group on Saturday identified him as one of four suicide bombers, including a German, a Kuwaiti and a Palestinian, all of whom were similarly photographed standing beside SUVs.
Asmal fled his home in West Yorkshire in March and allegedly traveled with a friend to Turkey in order to join ISIS, according to reports.
Asmal’s family said on Sunday that they were “devastated” by the news that he had taken part in the attack. “Talha was a loving, kind, caring and affable teenager,” the family said in a statement reported by the BBC. “Talha’s tender years and naivety were it seems however exploited by persons unknown who, hiding behind the anonymity of the world wide web, targeted and befriended Talha and engaged in a process of deliberate and calculated grooming of him.”
Hasib Hussein, another teenager who joined ISIS was almost 19 when he blew himself up on a London bus in the 7 July 2005 attacks.