More from the Whose Side Are You On Department, from the TimesOnline, with thanks to Nicolei:
ABOUT 70 young Muslim men have left Britain to join the insurgents who are fighting coalition troops in Iraq, senior security sources have revealed.
At least three have been killed in combat, including one whose role in an Iraq suicide bombing in February was disclosed by police only last week.
The growing problem of militants from Britain travelling to Iraq has been highlighted by Eliza Manningham-Buller, director-general of MI5, in recent briefings to Tony Blair.
The MI5 boss warned the prime minister that would-be suicide bombers and other fighters who want to kill British and American troops were using “a number of routes” to get to Iraq from Britain. Most have travelled to Damascus in Syria before being smuggled over the border to meet rebel leaders.
Senior police sources say that they are trying to unravel a British-based network recruiting “martyrs” for the Islamic “holy war” in Iraq. The operation emerged following the arrest last week of a 40-year-old man who is alleged to have shared a house in Manchester with Idris Bazis, a 41-year-old French Algerian who blew himself up during a terrorist attack in Iraq four months ago….
The rebel commander, who used the name Abu Ahmad, said that another Briton, called Ammar and also 22, had been killed during clashes between Al-Qaeda and American troops around the time of the Falluja offensive in April last year. Ammar had travelled to Iraq with his brother Yassr, 18, shortly after the fall of Baghdad in March 2003. “They could not wait to go out and fight and kept on asking when they would go into battle,” the commander said.
He said that Al-Qaeda had “branches, supporters and financiers” in Britain as well as in France, Spain and Germany.