Here is yet more indication that the idea that poverty causes terrorism, albeit universally accepted, is a myth. The Economist reported back in December 2010:
The ranks of high-profile terrorism suspects also boast plenty of middle-class, well-educated people. The would-be Times Square bomber, Faisal Shehzad, boasts an MBA and is the son of a senior Pakistani air-force officer. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who stands accused of lighting a makeshift bomb on a transatlantic flight in the so-called ‘underwear plot’, had a degree from University College, London, and is the son of a rich Nigerian banker. The suspected suicide-bomber in this week’s attacks in Stockholm had a degree from a British university.
Sitting crossed-legged next to two men holding automatic weapons, Nasser Muthana looks directly into the camera as he urges his fellow Britons to join him in a Holy war.
He is almost 2,500 miles from home and a world away from the “happy” domestic life in which he had grown up in Cardiff.
His parents had hoped their “clever” son would become a doctor, having been accepted to study medicine at university.
But he disappeared in November, travelling first to Turkey and then on to Syria, where he resurfaced yesterday in a chilling recruitment video for jihadists.
In the video, released as part of a propaganda campaign by The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), Muthana chants in Arabic before speaking in an unmistakably British accent.
“Oh you who believe, answer the call of Allah and his messenger when he calls you… what gives you life is jihad”, he says.
A caption on the film – believed to have been recorded several weeks ago in Syria – refers to Muthana by his Muslim name, Brother Abu Muthanna al Yemeni.
Last night he was identified by his father Ahmed, as the son he last saw seven months ago. With the 20 year-old is his younger brother, Aseel, 17, who followed his elder sibling to Syria.
Mr Muthana, 57, told of his devastation. He said he believed the pair – who as children enjoyed swimming and football and supported Manchester United and Arsenal – had been “brainwashed” in the UK.
He questioned why his “very clever” son had chosen to fight in Syria for Isis.
Born in Cardiff, Nasser attended Cathays High School in the city – where, aged fourteen, he was a school councillor.
Fluent in Arabic by the time he was 16, he achieved nine As, two of them starred, and two Bs at GCSE.
After completing his A Levels he applied to study medicine at four universities, being accepted by all of them but vanished at the end of last year.
His younger brother was studying for his A-Levels at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff when he went missing in February. Police told Mr Muthana he had travelled to Cyprus.
Speaking from his Cardiff home last night, Mr Muthana, who is originally from Aden in Yemen, said: “The eldest is clever, very clever. I don’t know which universities he had applied for – he got letters from four of them but he did not take it. The youngest wanted to be an English teacher.
“To be honest, they were very, very happy, I don’t know what has turned around. I wish to find out.
“We were informed a few weeks back that he was in Turkey. We heard about the video today. These are not his views, somebody else’s views, I think he has been brainwashed in the UK, but I don’t know. He attended Al Manar mosque in Cardiff.
“He was going to be a doctor, he applied to university and got accepted by four but didn’t go – he’s just finished. I didn’t know anything, I don’t know why. The last time I spoke to him was in November.”
He added: “Of course I fear he will be injured or die fighting but I can do nothing.”
Mr Muthana, who has two other sons, aged 22 and 10, said: “They are conservative Muslim, the respected, they don’t have girlfriends, they don’t talk to girls. Of course they were influenced in the UK but to be honest I don’t know. In the mosque, the people of the mosque won’t tell me anything.
“Who will encourage them, someone on the street? No, it has to be the mosque, but which mosque, I don’t know. They also spend a lot of time on their computer.”
In the video, Nasser, who wears a white scarf on his head, boasts of the “brothers” who have already joined him on the Holy war. Two other men who claim to be British – along with two Australians – also feature in the film, entitled: There is no life without Jihad.
It was released on the day Isis launched a global internet campaign, asking Muslims to post messages of support “to support the Islamic State” on social media.