Posing with an AK47 assault rifle over each shoulder, this British student has been named as a ‘senior Islamic State commander’ responsible for recruiting hundreds of his countrymen.
Nicknamed ‘al-Britani Afro’ because of his hairstyle, rapper Raphael Hostey, 22, has allegedly been instrumental in luring Britons to become fighters or jihadi brides in Syria.
The news came as a shock to his neighbours, who remembered him as an innocent-looking 12-year-old boy obsessed with Manchester United.
Just a few years later he would shun his British upbringing and leave his wife and child to join IS. Posting raps about jihad on Twitter, he has urged young women considering joining IS to ‘come as soon as possible’.
Hostey’s identity was revealed by an alleged Syrian double agent arrested in Turkey, who was involved in recruiting the three teenage girls from east London who flew to Syria last month.