The father of two British jihadis who were killed while fighting in Syria has left the UK and travelled to Libya in a bid to find his eldest son and bring him home.
Abubaker Deghayes, 46, has left his home in Brighton in an attempt to rescue his son Amer, who travelled to the Middle East in January last year.
The 21-year-old has been fighting for the organisation Jabhat al-Nusra, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, who are battling the Islamic State and Syrian forces.
Abubaker Deghayes, whose two sons died while fighting in Syria. He has now left his home in Brighton to travel to the Middle East to bring home his remaining son Amer, who is also in Syria
Mr Deghayes eldest son Amer, who is fighting for the Jabhat al-Nusra, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda, who are battling the Islamic State and Syrian forces. He has not been in contact with his father
Mr Deghayes two younger sons were killed fighting Syrian government forces in two separate incidents last year.
Abdullah, 18, was killed last April after suffering a bullet wound to his stomach and Jaffar, 17, was reported dead six months later after being shot in the head during a battle in Aleppo.
And after not hearing from Amer, who is also in Syria, for nearly four weeks, he says he is on his way to the country to rescue his son.
Mr Deghayes has insisted he has not ‘run away’ to join the fight and has informed British authorities of his intentions to rescue his last-remaining son.
It is believed he is with his brother Omar Deghayes, with the pair currently in Tripoli, the capital of Libya, after travelling via Italy and Tunisia.
Omar was previously held by the US as an enemy combatant at the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention centre between 2002 and 2007, but was released without charge.
Speaking from Libya, Mr Deghayes said: ‘I am in Tripoli at the moment in Libya.
‘It looks and sounds like I have run away from the authorities but I didn’t leave until I informed them, through my lawyers, what I was intending to do.
‘I will go and try to bring Amer home. I told people that I have been going to Syria long before the government started to change its stance on people going out there.’
Mr Deghayes younger sons Abdullah, left, and Jaffar, right, who were both killed in separate incidents while fighting in Syria
Jaffar Deghayes was spotted leaving Gatwick Airport for Syria with three other men from the Portsmouth area
Mr Deghayes found out that his first son, Abdullah, had died in Syria when his eldest son Amer called him and told him
It is not the first time he has pleaded with his sons to come home, and he once travelled to Turkey and met Jaffar and Abdullah to try and stop them from entering Syria, but failed.
His dramatic rescue could also be in vain as in November Amer said he wouldn’t come back to the UK until ‘all Muslim lands are liberated’ and that jihad was ‘not for tasters.’
Mr Deghayes also insisted that he could have easily joined the fighting if he wanted to, but chose not to because he disagrees with war.
He added: ‘If I wanted to join the fighting, I could have done so easily. But out of personal belief and nature, and not the government, I haven’t. I don’t like wars and bloodshed.
‘I am fine and all is well. I shall be back in Brighton soon.’
Mr Deghayes is a trustee of a local mosque in East Sussex, and is a controversial figure, who once said a suicide attack on Tony Blair could be morally justified.
He was secretly recorded at a mosque in 2006 branding the then prime minister and US president George W Bush ‘legitimate targets’.
He previously insisted that his three sons were not ‘terrorists’ but had travelled to Syria to defend ‘those who are weak’.
Amer Deghayes (centre, in grey) was the first of his family to leave for Syria, telling his parents he wanted to be an aid worker. Brother Abdullah (front left) and Jaffar (front right) followed soon after
The Deghayes brothers while they were young. Their family insist they went to Syria to help the weak
He said his sons had been ‘stubborn’ about travelling to Syria after seeing videos of the atrocities online.
In a film released last year, Amer said he had no intention of returning to Britain, adding: ‘My work here is not done. I came here to give victory to the people and make sure that they receive justice, and we still haven’t reached the goal yet.’
He added: ‘I’m in the Syrian civil war because I believe it’s my duty to fight here …The Muslim nation is like one body. If one part complains, the other parts react, so I don’t see it as a Syrian conflict. I see it as an Islamic conflict.’
Since Amer travelled to Syria, he has been in regular contact with his father and mother Einas Abulsayen via Skype.
It was during two such phonecalls that be broke the news that his brothers had been killed.
The first call came in April. Speaking about Abdullah’s death at the time, Mr Deghayes said: ‘Amer told me Abdullah advanced into territory of the Syrian army then a sniper shot him in the chest.
Mr Deghayes is believed to have travelled to Libya with his brother Omar, pictured, who was previously held by the US as an enemy combatant at the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention centre
‘He fell on the ground and looked at the sky and laughed. You feel he died a good death as a Muslim. As a martyr, he goes to paradise. But at the same time you feel sad for the loss.’
Meanwhile when Jaffar died six months later, he added: ‘Amer sent me a message via the internet. All I know is that (Jaffar) was fighting against Assad and was killed in battle.
‘I don’t know much else. I can only hope and pray to God to accept him and have mercy on him.’
The Brighton father’s attempt to rescue his son comes as reports suggested a 17-year-old girl from Brighton was stopped at Gatwick Airport, West Sussex, on suspicion of attempting to join jihadis in Syria.
The teenager is described as a close friend of the Deghayes family.
Sussex Police have urged members of the public with concerns or information about anyone planning to travel to Syria to contact them.
The force said in a statement: ‘The Government advice continues to be that no one should travel to these war zones and that the most effective way to help the affected population is through humanitarian support.’