Islamic State 'suicide bomber' identified as Brit paid £1m by government
Family identify Jamal al-Harith from Manchester as man said to be responsible for attack on military base in Iraq
An Islamic State recruit who reportedly carried out a suicide bombing mission on a military base in Iraq on Monday has been identified as a British former Guantanamo Bay detainee paid £1m in compensation by the UK government.
Militants released an image of a man smiling in a 4x4 packed with explosives, which they said he ploughed into Shia militia and units from the Iraqi army's Ninth Division outside Mosul.
While their claims have not been verified, the man in the photograph has been identified by his family as 50-year-old Jamal al-Harith from Manchester.
His brother, Leon Jameson, told The Times: "It is him, I can tell by his smile. If it is true then I've lost a brother."
Harith, who was born Ronald Fiddler, converted to Islam in the 1990s and was found in a Taliban prison in Afghanistan in 2001. He was among five British men detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba by US officials in 2002. "At one point he was accused of links to Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda," says The Times.
He was released in 2004 and claimed compensation after saying British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment.
When the five men returned to the UK, David Blunkett, then home secretary, said: "No one who is returned… will actually be a threat to the security of the British people."
Harith is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2014, followed by his wife, Shukee Begum, and her five children.
Speaking to Channel 4 News last year, Begum said she had wanted Harith to meet his youngest child. "I wanted to know if he had a place in my children's futures," she said. "I was seeing on the news that things were going from bad to worse and I wanted to talk some sense into him."