UK police investigating whether a British Muslim blew himself up in a Syrian suicide bombing

Associated Press SHARE

LONDON (AP) — Could a British highway worker have blown himself up in a Syrian suicide bombing?

The BBC and other British media said Thursday that police were trying to confirm whether 41-year-old Abdul Waheed Majid, who grew up in the London commuter town of Crawley, blew himself up during an attack in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo last week.

Majid's family remains unconvinced. His uncle Mohammad Jamil said the highway worker, a father of three, wasn't an extremist and had traveled to Syria on a humanitarian mission.

Jamil, 65, said his nephew told his family last week that he was on the move and there might be a communications lag.

"He said: 'If I don't contact you for a few days, don't worry about it, I will be in touch again.' That's the last communication we had," Jamil said.

British law enforcement and government officials have been tightlipped. Local police said only that a search was being carried out at a house in Crawley, which neighbors identified as Majid's. British diplomats said they were aware of reports that a British citizen had died "in a suicide" in Aleppo, but said they were unable to confirm it.

Western officials have voiced increasing concerns that Syria's civil war could serve as a magnet for would-be jihadists. Between 600 and 700 British Muslims have traveled to Syria to fight, French President Francois Hollande said during a recent trip to the U.K.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said he couldn't confirm Majid's death.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.