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Dewsbury teenager is 'uk's youngest ever suicide bomber'

A West Yorkshire teenager is believed to have become Britain's youngest ever suicide bomber after reportedly blowing himself up in Iraq. Talha Asmal, 17, was one of four suicide bombers who attacked forces near an oil refinery south of Baiji.

His family said they were "devastated" at the news. Asmal, from Dewsbury, would be Britain's youngest known suicide bomber. Another West Yorkshire teenager, Hasib Hussein, was almost 19 when he blew himself up on a London bus in the 7 July attacks.

A statement issued by Asmal's family said: "Talha was a loving, kind, caring and affable teenager. The flow of young men and women to warzones in Syria and Iraq continues to be the biggest challenge to Britain's counter-terrorism effort. Senior officers estimate more than British citizens have now made the journey, some taking on the name "al-Britani" to ify their origins.

'unspeakable tragedy'

Half have come back to the UK, posing the risk that they might plan attacks. BBC research suggests more than 30 are still in the warzones, and possibly as many as However its estimated a third are not known to police and the security services, making their job of tracking extremists and prioritising those posing the greatest risk much harder. Shahid Malik, the former MP for Dewsbury and a family friend of the Asmals, said: "It is disturbing to see how relaxed he looks in the Isis photographs allegedly Isis in leeds just prior to his suicide mission.

It's like he's ready to go and meet his maker. This is a clear indication of just how successful the evil Isis [also known as IS] groomers have been in poisoning and brainwashing Talha and kids like him. IS is a radical Islamist group that has seized large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq.

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At least people from the UK have travelled to support or fight for jihadist organisations in the area, with the majority ing IS. Charlie Winter, from the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation, said British people travelling to Islamic State were often "groomed" online. A BBC News database tracks those who have died, been convicted of offences relating to the conflict or are believed to still be in the region.

West Yorkshire Police said: "The police have been made aware of media reports with regard to the death of a British National in Iraq.

Asmal travelled to Syria with fellow Dewsbury teenager Hassan Munshi. Munshi's brother, Hammaad Munshi, was arrested in at the age of 16 after police found a guide to making napalm on his computer. He became the youngest person to be convicted under the Terrorism Act.

In a statement, the Home Office said: "Sincewe have trained more thanpeople working on the front line of our public sector to identify and prevent extremism, excluded nearly preachers of hate - more than any other government - and successfully taken down more than 90, pieces of terrorist-related material from the internet.

Arab global jihad: from the taliban to isis

No charge for terror arrest teen. The Britons ing up for Jihad. Photos issued of 'Syria-bound' teens.

Two teenagers 'feared Syria-bound'. The Britons taking terror overseas. Abdul Waheed Majid, from Crawley in West Sussex, was the first British man to carry out a suicide bombing in Syria, attacking the city of Aleppo in February Ibrahim al-Mazwagi, 21, was the first reported Briton killed fighting in Syria. The University of Hertfordshire student was shot dead in February Abdullah Deghayes travelled to Syria with his year-old brother in January He was killed three months later soon after his 18th birthday.

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Published 8 June Published 12 October Published 26 March Published 9 April Published 7 April