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‘Brit IS bomber’ was former Guantanamo detainee

A British man said by Islamic State to have detonated a suicide bomb attacking Iraqi forces in Mosul is former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ronald Fiddler, Sky sources have said.

IS named the bomber as Abu Zakariya al Britani, and claimed the vehicle he was in had exploded in Tal Kisum village, south of Mosul.

The “al Britani” name is often used by the extremist group to indicate a fighter’s British background.

Ronald Fiddler, 50, was one of five Britons released in 2004 after being held at America’s Guantanamo Bay detention centre, on Cuba, for more than two years.

Jamal al Harith leaves RAF Northolt after arriving in the UK from Guantanamo Bay
Image Caption: Jamal al Harith leaves RAF Northolt after arriving in the UK from Guantanamo Bay in 2004

It has been reported that he was given up to £1m compensation by the British Government after he was freed from the Cuban camp.

By then, Fiddler’s name had changed to Jamal al Harith.

He was thought to have been captured by US forces in 2002 while he was being held in Kandahar jail in Afghanistan.

Originally the Muslim convert was from the Moss Side area of Manchester and was the father of three children.

Details of the suicide attack in which he is said by IS to have died were released in a statement reported by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Forces from the Hashed al Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation), a paramilitary umbrella group dominated by Shia militias backed by Tehran, are active in the area mentioned in the statement.

The five freed Guantanamo captives arriving at RAF Northolt
Image Caption: The five freed Guantanamo captives arriving at RAF Northolt

They are fighting alongside other Iraqi forces, including the army and the federal police, as part of a push that started on Sunday to retake the west bank of Mosul.

According to figures published by the British Government last year, around 850 individuals of national security concern have travelled to Iraq to join the conflict.

Of those, just under half have returned to the UK and approximately 15% are dead.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, and against all travel to large parts of Iraq.

“As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria and greatly limited in Iraq, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in these areas.”

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