The Guardian has a scoop:
A Taliban fighter in Dhani-Ghorri in northern Afghanistan last month told the Guardian he lived most of the time in east London, but came to Afghanistan for three months of the year for combat.
“I work as a minicab driver,” said the man, who has the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander. “I make good money there [in the UK], you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.”
“There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”
His older brother, a senior cleric or mawlawi who also fought in Dhani-Ghorri, lives in London as well.
Intelligence officials have long suspected that British Muslims travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan each year to train with extremist groups.
Last year it was reported that RAF spy planes operating in Helmand in southern Afghanistan had detected strong Yorkshire and Birmingham accents on fighters using radios and telephones. They apparently spoke the main Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, but lapsed into English when they were lost for the right words. The threat was deemed sufficiently serious that spy planes have patrolled British skies in the hope of picking up the same voice signatures of the fighters after their return to the UK.
The dead body of an insurgent who had an Aston Villa tattoo has also been discovered in southern Afghanistan.
There are photographs, here.
The Guardian doesn’t use the word “traitors” to describe these men. However, assuming that they’re British citizens, this is precisely what they are. I very much hope that effort is put into capturing and trying them for this offence.
However, recent cases involving those detained while engaged in jihadism in Afghanistan have resulted in court cases which have proven both hugely expensive to defend, and in which disclosure of information which potentially imperils national security risks being ordered. Accordingly, my impression is that the strategy has switched from “capture” to “kill”.
That is a pity. These men should be tried for treason. Instead, I expect that our courts will shortly be entertaining the first personal injuries claim by a part-time Taliban fighter, seeking compensation for loss of amenity when hit by a Hellfire AGM-114C.