A Muslim doctor and a pharmacist from Britain’s Socialist NHS aspired to be Islam’s Josef Mengele.
NHS doctor and UK pharmacist who became Nazi-style torturers for ISIS: Team of vile medics took organs from prisoners and gave them to wounded terrorists
- Issam Abuanza, 40, a former NHS doctor, was appointed ISIS ‘health minister’
- He left his wife and two children in Sheffield when he travelled to Syria in 2014
- Mohammad Anwar Miah, 40, a former pharmacist from Birmingham, helped Abuanza remove detained prisoners’ organs, according to Syrian witnesses
- These were given to injured ISIS jihadis, used to frighten prisoners or sold on
By Larisa Brown Defence And Security Editor For The Daily Mail, 26 April 2019
A picture of NHS doctor Issam Abuanza who deserted his wife and two children in Sheffield to join Islamic State in Syria
Two British health workers who sneaked into Islamic State territory carried out ‘Nazi-style’ medical experiments on prisoners, Syrian witnesses claim.
Issam Abuanza, 40, a former NHS doctor who left behind his wife and two children in Sheffield when he travelled to Syria in 2014, was appointed the terror group’s ‘health minister’, the British Government believes.
Abuanza, now thought to be hiding in caves near the village of Baghouz, carried out such brutal torture on his victims that even IS fighters opposed it.
He appointed Mohammad Anwar Miah, also 40, a former pharmacist from Birmingham, who helped him remove organs from detained prisoners, the Syrian witnesses claim.
The body parts were either transplanted into injured jihadis, passed on to middle men who sold them on the black market to fund terror, or put in the cells of prisoners to frighten them, it is alleged.
A ten-man medical team headed by Abuanza also allegedly carried out chemical tests on prisoners, it is claimed.
The exact nature of the chemicals are unknown.
The allegations are at odds with Miah’s account of his years with the group, which he gave to the Daily Mail from northern Syria just weeks ago.
This newspaper has since been able to piece together an extraordinary alternative account of the pair’s lives inside the brutal terrorist organisation.
Details of their alleged roles come from activist group Sound and Picture, whose members lived under the jihadis’ rule and closely followed their activities.
Mohammed Anwar Miah left the UK for Syria after being struck off as a pharmacist for falsifying records
Western intelligence has corroborated some of the claims. Abuanza deserted his family in 2014 after ranting about the NHS, saying doctors were treated like beggars in Britain. He told overseas graduates sitting tests for their English language and clinical skills that they would need anti-psychotic drugs to work in the NHS. In one chilling online post, he said he wished that a Jordanian pilot burnt alive in a cage by Islamic State had taken longer to die.
Miah, who renamed himself Abu Obayda al-Britani once he joined IS, left Birmingham in September 2014 to sneak into territory held by the terror group.
In his first newspaper interview in February, he told the Mail he never swore allegiance to the group and had gone there, illegally, for ‘humanitarian work’.
He said he lived in the town of Mayadin in eastern Syria under IS rule for four years, and claimed to have met no other British citizens and to have treated only civilians.
He said he worked there as an assistant orthopaedic surgeon, learning from a book as he went. But Sound and Picture claims he met Abuanza in Mayadin in 2015 and they became close.
Both men shared the nickname Abu Obayda.
Horrors of German concentration camps
The Nazis carried out grotesque medical experiments in concentration camps during the Second World War.
They included studies in which prisoners were forced into chambers that duplicated altitude conditions of up to 68,000ft.
Others included the removal of sections of bone, muscle and nerves, including whole legs removed at the hips to transplant to other victims.
Studies of hypothermia treatment involved prisoners standing naked in temperatures as low as -6C (21F) for hours.
Josef Mengele spent hours examining twins at Auschwitz in an effort to find ways to more effectively multiply the German race.
In many cases, he injected one twin with a mysterious substance and monitored the illness that ensued. Mengele, nicknamed the ‘Angel of Death’ also applied painful clamps to children’s limbs to induce gangrene, injected dye into their eyes, and gave them spinal taps.
They worked in a hospital in the town, called ‘Alteb Alhadith’ in Arabic, and it was there that Abuanza allowed Miah to perform surgery on civilians, it is claimed. That year, Abuanza was made IS’s health minister.
Aghiad al-Kheder, co-founder of Sound and Picture, said: ‘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.’ He said Abuanza developed a reputation for his cruel techniques, adding: ‘Issam first chose Mohammed Anwar – he needed someone to help.’
Mr al-Kheder said they both went to work at the ‘Pharmex Hospital’ in the city of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria in February 2016.
‘Anwar was involved in the transfer of human organs from the prisoners to members of IS and the human organ trade that was conducted by IS,’ he claimed.
Later that year they returned to Mayadin, where Abuanza allegedly headed a team of nine others, including Miah as well as a Jordanian doctor, two Iraqis and five Syrians.
According to witnesses, the group performed medical experiments on prisoners, transferred organs from prisoners to wounded jihadis, and were involved in the organ trade.
Mr al-Kheder said one IS member described the methods of medical torture as ‘Nazi-style’ and that they were considered even by fighters as ‘brutal’.
He added: ‘They experimented with torture and with chemical materials but we are not sure for what purposes.
‘They used the materials on the prisoners.’
He also claimed the group put prisoners in an empty room and left them with dismembered bodies as a method of torture.
Mr al-Kheder said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi visited the Mayadin hospital in 2017 when he was injured.
Miah was working in the hospital at the time but it is not known if he directly communicated with al-Baghdadi.
The most up-to-date information suggests Abuanza was in the town of Hajin in eastern Syria and then fled to caves east of Baghouz, the final stronghold of IS.
Miah is one of more than six suspected jihadi Britons being held by the Kurdish-led opposition Syrian Democratic Forces, along with two members of the notorious ‘Beatles’ gang responsible for beheading British hostages. He told the Mail in February that he wanted to return to Britain.
He claimed he was innocent of any crimes, adding: ‘I came here to do humanitarian work, I came here with that intention and that’s what I did.
‘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’s family declined to comment. Abuanza and his wife Sally lived in Sheffield with their two children.
A former neighbour said Sally had moved away with her new boyfriend and had a baby with him. She could not be located for comment.
After deserting family, British doctor became IS’s ‘minister for health’
Dr Issam Abuanza, a former NHS doctor from Sheffield, was appointed ‘health minister’ for ISIS. He is pictured reading the Koran while holding a rifle
Issam Abuanza advanced quickly through the Islamic State ranks after he deserted his wife and two children in Sheffield in July 2014 to join the ‘caliphate’ in Syria.
By 2015, he was appointed the terror group’s health minister, responsible for all the medical care in the territory under IS control, Syrian witnesses claim.
Western intelligence sources said he was so senior that he had to have known about the brutal treatment of prisoners captured on the battlefield.
Syrian witnesses claim Abuanza himself carried out the most barbaric methods of torture, using medical practices which even battle-hardened jihadis opposed.
Abuanza, 40, is believed to be on the run in caves near the village of Baghouz in northern Syria.
He worked in Britain for seven years before going to Syria.
Palestinian-born but with British citizenship, Abuanza had previously ranted about the NHS, saying medical staff were treated like beggars.
In comments on a bulletin board in April 2006, he listed things that foreign doctors should leave at home.
He wrote: ‘Your dignity, because you are a beggar here; your career, no progress as either locum or clinical observer, you won’t write more than that in your CV; your future, there isn’t any; and your family, no doubt.’
Despite his outburst, Abuanza secured a position at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales, where he was working in July 2009.
He also worked at Scarborough Hospital in North Yorkshire, where he posted an online video of himself praying in the on-call room. Later he moved with his family to Sheffield, where he is reported to have combined shifts as a registrar with running an online company selling kaftan dresses.
Syrian witnesses said Issam Abuanza and Mohammad Anwar Miah, both 40, removed prisoners’ organs and frightened other detainees with them, transplanted them into injured jihadis or sold them on the black market
He wrote that 100 per cent of the profits of his business were going to Syria – raising fears he may have been funding jihad.
Abuanza, who comes from a family of doctors and dentists, trained as a doctor in Iraq in 2002 before gaining British citizenship. He is thought to be the first NHS clinician to join IS. His postings on social media revealed how he became increasingly radicalised. In a rant in March 2014, he expressed his disgust at doctors having to treat drunken yobs brought in to casualty by police.
That July, Abuanza fled Sheffield, leaving his then 30-year-old wife penniless and with no means to support their daughters, aged six and four.
Abuanza, who crossed into Syria soon after IS declared itself as an Islamic caliphate, appealed for other Western doctors to join him.
A photo on his Facebook page showed him wearing scrubs and carrying a gun in a holster. In another, he is wearing combat fatigues, cradling an assault rifle and reading the Koran.
Abuanza’s sister Najla said in 2016 that his parents would never forgive him.
Chemist who says he only did humanitarian work in Syria
Mohammed Anwar Miah, the pharmacist from Birmingham, who is languishing in a Kurdish prison in Northern Syria. He claims he knew nothing of the evil of ISIS, despite deciding to join them, and says he has sent his time working in a hospital
British pharmacist Mohammed Anwar Miah renamed himself Abu Obayda al-Britannia once inside Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate.
He claimed he left his family home in Birmingham, where he was born, in September 2014 to travel to Syria to carry out humanitarian work.
The 40-year-old re-emerged in video footage in September 2018 when he was detained in eastern Syria on suspicion of fighting for the terror group.
Footage showed him blindfolded and handcuffed as he denied being an IS fighter, saying he was just ‘helping the people’ in hospitals.
He is currently languishing in a prison in north-eastern Syria.
Miah was left jobless in 2013 after he was struck off the register for inventing ‘phantom’ employees to enable him to work more hours in contravention of EU legislation.
In his first newspaper interview, with the Daily Mail in February, he said: ‘They took away something I worked for the whole of my life. They punished me so harshly.’
Miah crossed the border from Turkey on September 15, 2014.
Speaking with a Midlands accent, Miah, whose family is of Bangladeshi origin, said he married a Syrian teenager in the town of Mayadin and had two children with her.
He has not met his second child because he was detained when his wife was five months pregnant. He added that his children were British citizens and he would like them to go back to the UK with him.
Miah is pictured here is a screen grab from a Twitter video of the moment he was caught by Kurdish forces
Miah said he was innocent of any crimes and had travelled to the war zone to carry out ‘humanitarian’ work. He added: ‘I’m not a danger to the public. But if they feel that I am a danger to the public I am more than happy to enter into any rehabilitation programme.’
Miah said he worked in a hospital in IS-held Mayadin, but had never treated a fighter unless by mistake because they were wearing civilian clothes.
He said the worst thing he ever saw was a man being forced to stand in a cage and being humiliated for smoking a cigarette.
‘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 claimed that in September last year he and his pregnant wife decided to leave in the middle of the night, taking their nine-month-old daughter, Mariam, with them.
He was detained near the town of Hajin in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, by opposition Syrian Democratic Forces.
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