The family of British teenager Talha Asmal, 17 have expressed "grief" over reports that a young Britain had been killed while with Islamic State in Iraq.
His family paid tribute to the teenager as a "loving, kind, caring" boy who they said was exploited by extremists "in a process of deliberate and calculated grooming of him".
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.
We are all understandably grief stricken and do not propose to make any further press statements at this stage.
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