Young British Muslims could be radicalised by the conflict in Syria, an MP has warned.
Dozens’ have travelled to join the uprising against president Bashar al-Assad – with some linking up with Islamist groups, it was claimed.
Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said the situation had the potential to radicalise a generation of fighters.
‘I am extremely concerned at the moment because I see similar things to what happened at the original stages of the Afghanistan war where we were supporting the mujahideen against the Russians,’ he told the BBC.
Peter Neumann, professor of security studies at King’s College, London, claimed al-Qaeda was trying to exploit the Syrian crisis.
Yesterday, a United Nations-appointed expert panel accused forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad of perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity on civilians.
The panel, appointed by the UN’s 47-nation Human Rights Council, said government troops and allied shabiha militia were guilty of murders, unlawful killings, torture, sexual violence and other indiscriminate attacks.
The Geneva-based council also concluded that rebels were guilty of war crimes including murder, extrajudicial killings and torture – but on a lesser frequency and scale.
In May more than 100 civilians were massacred in the village of Houla – half of them children – and the panel, headed by Brazilian diplomat and professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, confirmed that government-allied militia were responsible.
The vast majority of evidence therefore comes from interviews with 1,062 refugees who had fled violence in the country.