‘It’s jihad, innit, bruv’: meet the British Muslims going to fight in Syria

Turkey, Syria, Iraq: ‘It’s jihad, innit, bruv.’ The young British Muslim cut an absurd figure in ski mask, dark glasses and hoodie. He had not used that exact phrase but it would have summed up our faintly comical encounter. I remembered a security analyst’s remark that British Islamists in the Middle East are best explained by Four Lions, the mock documentary about some Yorkshire jihadis on an incompetent quest for martyrdom.