A Briton who left London to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Syria has died while being held in prison in the country, according to a media report citing sources One source told the BBC that Ishak Mostefaoui, previously from east London, was killed while attempting to escape custody.

Another said Mostefaoui died during serious disorder in a jail in Hassakeh, which houses IS prisoners from various countries. The death and surrounding circumstances have not been officially confirmed.

Secretly Traveled To Syria

After being captured last year, the 27-year-old was held in a prison in north-east Syria controlled by the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Last year, the BBC revealed that Mostefaoui was one of several University of Westminster students to have traveled to Syria.

ISIS
Representational Picture Reuters

In April 2014, Mostfaoui told his father that he was going to Amsterdam for a few days, leaving with just a small bag, and he then secretly made his way to Syria. Four years later, he had his British citizenship revoked.

The sources told the BBC that he was one of around 10 men and 30 women from the UK being held by the militia, but he was the first to die in SDF custody. The prison where he was held is a converted school. When the BBC spoke to him there last October he admitted joining IS.

A Risk To National Security

Meanwhile, the government has refused to allow adult prisoners to return to the UK, saying they should be put on trial in the region. A government spokesman told the BBC that the Foreign Office had advised against all travel to Syria since 2011.

"Those who chose to leave the UK and fight for, or support, Daesh potentially pose a very serious national security risk." Ministers have said that, of the estimated 900 people who have left the UK for Syria to join violent Islamist groups, 20 percent have died, 40 percent have returned to the UK, and 40 percent are still in the region.