No sympathy for Briton killed in RAF drone strike, says childhood friend


A friend of a British Islamic State fighter killed in an RAF drone strike has said he feels no sympathy for the dead man.

Ruhul Amin was killed in the attack on a vehicle in which another British citizen, Reyaad Khan, was travelling.

The strike against Khan was carried out without parliamentary authority on August 21 and was the first occasion in modern times that the UK has used military force in a country where it was not engaged in a war, Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons.

Three days later, a second Briton believed to have been involved in plots against the UK, Junaid Hussain, was killed in a US air strike.

Amin was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Aberdeen before reportedly moving with his family to Leicester.

Stephen Marvin, a long time Aberdonian school friend of Amin, told ITV News he could not sympathise with him.

He said: "I feel sympathy for his family of course. It's not their fault at all but it's hard to say he didn't get what he deserved in the end. He was my childhood best friend but he was a totally different person in the last 12-18 months so it was hard to sympathise with him, personally."

He added: "I feel sadness for his family. They didn't ask for any of this. They couldn't have stopped it in any way. For him, I can't have any sympathy for him. Evidently he's chosen to go there and that's his decision."

Mr Marvin said Amin was radicalised in Birmingham.

He told the channel: "He said he met people in Birmingham and he was spoken to there and offered to go to Syria under the promise he was allowed to leave whenever he wanted to. He went over and spent three months in a Koran-type camp that gets you into their type of thinking around the Koran. Then he went on to three months military camp after that.

"The first time I phoned I heard a gunshot in the background. He said it was rebel fighters. He was sitting on a riverbank. He told me when he was speaking. I asked him, 'aren't you scared of getting shot?' He said, if he dies, he'll be with Allah.

"That kind of shocked me. You're not used to hearing - especially in Aberdeen - you're not used to hearing your friends talk like that. He had no fear whatsoever of death. He was confident he was going to a better place."

Khan was 20 when he appeared in an Isis propaganda video titled ''There Is No Life Without Jihad'' in June last year with two other Britons urging Westerners to join the war.

Hailing from Cardiff, he is thought to have travelled to fight in Syria late in 2013.

Mohammad Islam, a former local councillor and family friend of Khan's, said the whole community and family are "very much devastated and shocked" at his death.

Asked about his thoughts on an RAF drone strike killing Khan, he told ITV News: "Obviously it's a little bit shocking for us. We'd like more details on how and why the Government did that.

"We'd like more detail other than just a short briefing regarding the RAF drone strike. Maybe the family would like to hear about the details. Maybe the parents would feel better."