15:13 20 October 2012
Shajul Islam, who was arrested at Heathrow Airport last week, is now accused of kidnapping John Cantile and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans.
Shajul Islam, 26 years old, who appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court, has medical training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in East London. Based on reports, he left the UK for Syria earlier this year. It is believed that he joined a jihadist group and worked as a medic for them.
He said that there could be at least 15 British nationals in the Jidah camp in Syria.
Mr Cantile, who used to be a journalist for Sunday Times, spoke about their ordeal. He said they were handcuffed and blindfolded. When they tried to escape, they were both shot at. They were finally freed with the help of the Free Syria Army.
Prosecutor Piers Arnold, told the court: “They were threatened at gunpoint, blindfolded and restrained.’ It is believed that the 40 people in the camp came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.”
He said: “[There were] Chechens and youngsters engaged in jihad conflict for the first time. ‘A significant number of individuals appeared to be British - 15 British nationals were in the camp.”
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