A secretive Isis unit responsible for the Bataclan massacre has reportedly been training British fighters for terror attacks on UK soil.
A jihadi captured by Kurdish forces in Syria said would-be suicide bombers were subjected to gruelling training programmes at a secret camp before being sent to Europe to carry out attacks.
In the space of two and a half years, around 50 Isis members from countries including Britain graduated from the camp, the Isis fighter told The Sunday Times.
He told the newspaper that the training programme under the group, allegedly named the al-Kharsa brigade, included bomb construction, physical endurance tests and ideological instruction.
Applicants must above all be willing to travel to Europe to kill – and possibly die – in the name of Isis, the fighter said in an interview in front of his captors.
The programme, carried out at a secret camp in the Isis “caliphate”, was still ongoing in February this year, he said.
He claimed attacks were organised by an external operations wing of the terror group, known as the Amniyat, which was run by its head strategist Abu Muhammad al-Adnani until he died in 2016.
The external operations unit is said to have included of a programme that trained European fighters in Syria and sent them to attack their home nations.
A planning centre that remotely instructed potential suicide attackers in “sleeper cells” in Europe was also part of the unit.
“The attacks that happened in Paris and Brussels, the attackers were trained by them and left from Syria to Europe,” told the newspaper.
“Sometimes there are foreigners who come to Syria and have training for specific missions. Then they do the attacks alone.
“Others are sleeper cells in Europe who want to join Daesh [Isis] here, but can’t. They stay in their countries and contact [Isis]. Then they talk, and when they are ready they do the bombings.”