Claims 24 British Jihadists Have Died In Syria

16 October 2014, 11:44 | Updated: 16 October 2014, 11:56

Terror experts in London claim at least 24 British jihadists have died fighting in Syria.

The research has been carried out by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College, which monitors social media accounts of alleged extremists.

Shiraz Maher from the centre told the Daily Telegraph that figure is likely to be even higher.

He warned that news of deaths would not put would-be Islamic State fighters off travelling there from the UK though as they "regard it as martyrdom and a victory".

The Foreign Office said it is difficult to confirm deaths as there are currently no consular services in Syria due to the conflict.

A spokeswoman said: "We are aware of reports of the deaths of British Nationals in Syria. The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, where all UK consular services are suspended.

"As we do not have any representation in Syria, it is extremely difficult to get any confirmation of deaths or injuries and our options for supporting British Nationals there are extremely limited."

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said religious leaders "must up their game and engage jihadism in religious, philosophical and ethical space".

In an article for Prospect magazine he said: "Whatever is done to face these groups must be global, holistic, and determined over the long term with a clear intention of building a just peace.

"Above all there needs to be a new and compelling alternative narrative to that of the self-styled jihadists."