The last member of a group of British men who traveled to join the so-called Islamic State (IS), calling themselves the "Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys," has reportedly died, marking what is thought to be the 50th British jihadi that has been killed while fighting in Syria and Iraq.
Assad Uzzaman, 25, is the fourth member of the group — who left Portsmouth on England's south coast in 2013 — to apparently die in the Middle East. Uzzaman's death was reported by Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization at King's College London, who monitors the social media accounts of alleged jihadists.
The others members of the group — Muhammad Mehdi Hassan, 19, Mamunur Mohammed Roshid, 24, and Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25 — have all previously reported to have died. The fifth, Mashudur Choudhury, 31, is currently serving a four-year jail sentence after returning to the UK just 17 days after their departure in October 2013.
In a statement, Flick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP, said she had visited Uzzaman's family since receiving the news, describing them as "heartbroken," adding that she would endeavor to find out how he died and if his remains could be returned to Portsmouth.
"Many people will have strong views about what Assad has done, but he was a much-loved son from a family who were completely integrated with British society with no extremist sympathies whatsoever," she said.
Drummond also said she believed he and his friends "were well meaning when they went to Syria to fight against the government there but it's quite clear that the situation changed with the rise of ISIL [an alternative acronym for IS] — an organization that believes life is cheap."
She continued: "The lesson here is simple: Anyone who thinks it a good idea to fight in Syria on any side should consider the very real possibility it will cost them their life," she added.
The total number of Brits who have left Britain to join IS is unclear, however the Foreign Office has placed the figure at around 500.