According to Syrian eyewitnesses, two British healthcare professionals who left the country to join the Islamic State have been carrying out horrifying, “Nazi-style” medical experiments and torture on captives.
Reported to be harvesting organs from prisoners to implant in injured jihadists or sell on the black market, carrying out chemical experiments on human subjects and engaging in various forms of psychological torture, the 10-man medical team operated in a hospital in eastern Syria.
The Islamic State “health minister” allegedly leading the medical team responsible for the atrocities is former British National Health Service doctor Issam Abuanza.
A 40-year-old Sheffield native, Abuanza left his wife and two children to join the Islamic State in 2014 and quickly attained a high status with the group, Daily Mail reported.
British intelligence reports the doctor had been discontented with his job and began espousing radical views online and at work as early as 2006, claiming the NHS treated its doctors in a subhuman manner.
Abuanza was later found to be posting disturbing comments online pertaining to the Islamic State captives executed in videos that went viral in the early 2010s.
Still, Abuanza was able to secure work in the United Kingdom until his departure in 2014.
Aghiad al-Kheder, co-founder of Sound and Picture — a group dedicated to exposing the human rights violations of Islamic extremists in the region — told the Daily Mail on Friday that the “Islamic State needed to show that it was a government not a radical group, and so it appointed a minister for everything.”
“Issam was minister for health which meant he was responsible for everything health related,” al-Kheder said.
Al-Kheder also told Daily Mail that even Islamic State jihadists he had spoken to reported being disgusted with Abuanza’s medical torture techniques, referring to them as “brutal,” “Nazi-style” experiments.
One jihadi who spoke with al-Kheder spoke of undisclosed chemical materials being used on helpless captors. He also reported mutilated corpses being left in cells with live prisoners.
“They experimented with torture and with chemical materials but we were not sure for what purposes.” he said.
“They used the materials on the prisoners.”
Per the Daily Mail, the other British healthcare professional working on the team with Abuanza was Mohammad Anwar Miah, a former pharmacist who aided organ removal and transplant.
Miah, who was captured by Syrian Democratic Forces earlier this year, said these reports were false in an interview with the Daily Mail this past February.
In his interview, Miah claimed he had been working as a doctor giving “humanitarian aid” in Mayadin, Syria. Miah also says that he never had contact with other British healthcare professionals in his years in Syria and was largely unaware of Islamic State fighters carrying out torture and public executions in the city.
Miah has recently requested to be sent back to the United Kingdom, claiming that he is not “a danger to the public” and will submit to “any rehabilitation program” the government might require.
“I came here to do humanitarian work, I came here with that intention and that’s what I did. I didn’t have any political or military involvement. I did not take part in any of these atrocities or incited any hatred or made any videos. I have never killed or hurt anybody,” Miah said.
As of this report, Miah had not been released to the United Kingdom, and Abuanza was reported to be hiding out in caves near Baghouz.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.