The family of suspected ISIS suicide bomber Talha Asma, from Dewsbury, who the terror organisation has claimed was one of four men who took part in yesterday's attack on an Iraqi oil refinery killing themselves and 11 other people, have issued a statement through the Counter Terrorism Unit.
"Late yesterday evening some news outlets via their online platforms carried a story that a young Britain had been killed whilst with ISIS in Iraq.
"Although the information within these reports has not been confirmed and the relevant UK authorities are working hard to verify the facts, we can confirm that the photographs shown of a youth purportedly named Abu Yusuf Al Britany appear to show our 17 year old son Talha.
"Talha comes from a close knit, hardworking, peace loving and law abiding British Muslim family. The entire family unreservedly condemns and abhors all acts of violence wherever perpetrated.
"Talha himself 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 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.
"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.
"We are all understandably grief stricken and do not propose to make any further press statements at this stage. We remain confident that all media and press outlets will wish to respect our need for privacy at this hugely difficult time."
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