Bomber’s family: Our devastation

THE family of suicide bomber Talha Asmal have spoken of their devastation.

Talha lived at the family’s terraced home in Savile Town with his mother Noorjaha, 38, and 42-year-old father Ebrahim.

Mirfield Free Grammar pupil Talha is believed to have blown himself and 10 others up in an attack on an oil refinery in Iraq.

A family statement said: “Talha comes from a close-knit, hard-working, peace-loving and law-abiding British Muslim family.

“The entire family unreservedly condemns and abhors all acts of violence wherever perpetrated.

“Talha was a loving, kind, caring and affable teenager. He never harboured any ill will against anybody, nor did he ever exhibit any violent, extreme or radical views of any kind.

“Talha’s tender years and naivety were it seems, however, exploited by persons unknown who, hiding behind the anonymity of the world wide web, targeted and befriended Talha and engaged in a process of deliberate and calculated grooming of him.

“As a result of this and completely unbeknown to us, his family, and entirely against our wishes, he ended up travelling it seems to Iraq.

“Whilst there it appears that Talha fell under the spell of individuals who continued to prey on his innocence and vulnerability to the point where, if the press reports are accurate, he was ordered to his death by so-called Isis handlers and leaders too cowardly to do their own ‘dirty’ work.

“We are all naturally utterly devastated and heartbroken by the unspeakable tragedy that now appears to have befallen us.

“We need time and understanding to come to terms with our unimaginable and painful loss.

“As a family we would urge anyone who has any concerns about their own family members being exploited in a similar way to seek the help and advice of the police as soon as ever possible.

“And as a family we would like to take this opportunity to unequivocally state that Isis are not Islam.

“They do not represent in any way, shape or form Islam and Muslims and we are no longer prepared to allow a barbaric group like Isis to hijack our faith.

“Isis – not and never in our name.”

Despite Talha’s death being unconfirmed, his family said images released online appear to show their son.

One is of him smiling as he stands by a black Toyota SUV giving the Isis one-finger salute.

Another shows him clutching a rifle as he sits cross-legged on a mat with two other armed men.

They are apparently taking instruction from a uniformed militant in a crudely furnished room.

Isis statements last Saturday claimed ‘Abu Yusuf Al Britani’ – Talah’s conflict alter ego – was one of four suicide bombers.

The others were said to be a German, a Kuwaiti and a Palestinian. All four were photographed by Isis standing next to SUVs.

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