Four British jihadists who are fighting or recruiting for Islamic State militants in Syria have been placed under United Nations international sanctions at the request of the UK government.
The four have been identified as:
- Omar Hussain: He has previously threatened to bomb the UK and has gloated about the beheading of Britons. He publishes online under his Twitter name Abu Saeed al Britani. A former Morrison's security guard, Hussain, 27, previously lived in High Wycombe with his mother;
- Nasser Muthana: The 20-year-old from Cardiff is believed to have been fighting along with Reyaad Khan who was killed by an RAF drone in Raqqa last month. Nasser's 17-year-old brother, Aseel, is also with him in Syria;
- Aqsa Mahmood: The former pupil of Glasgow's exclusive girls' school, the Craigholme Secondary School, left her home to travel in Syria where she has married an Isis fighter. She has said in social media that she would rather die in Syria than return home to her family in Glasgow; and
- Sally Jones: A mother of two from Chatham in Kent, she once fronted an all-girl rock band. She has threatened via her Twitter account, to "behead Christians with a blunt knife'. Now calling herself Umm Hussain al-Britani, she is believed to be married to British computer hacker-turned jihadi Junaid Hussain from Birmingham following an online romance.
The UN sanctions mean that the four face travel bans and will have their assets frozen. The move to place jihadists under UN sanctions is a new tactic adopted by the UK government to try and stop more people from being lured to join Isis, the BBC said.
According to British police, at least 700 Britons have traveled to support or fight for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. About half have since returned to the UK.
A government official said that this was the first time in 10 years that the UK had submitted names to the UN sanctions committee for inclusion in its list. The move is aimed at sending out a deterrent message.
The name of a fifth person has been put forward to be included in the list and is awaiting approval by the sanctions committee. More British nationals are expected to be placed on the list, the BBC said.
The government submitted dossiers of evidence to the committee to show that the British nationals were "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities," related to Isis. Uploading bomb-making instructions to social media was among the activities listed, the BBC said.
The UN sanctions regime was initially set up to deal with suspected al-Qaeda terrorists but has now been extended to fight against Isis.
"We will absolutely go after people who fight for Isil (another name for Isis) and are threatening our country," the government official told the BBC.
In addition to this, the government has set aside £10m for a new unit to fight propaganda from Isis militants and to set up a new committee of senior ministers to focus on the Isis threat. The new unit will be based in London but will have links with the Arab world.