LONDON - Briton Ruhul Amin once told his family that he loved and missed them, but he loved Allah more.
That was the message the 26-year-old sent to his family last year after it was reported that he was killed by Iraqi government forces near Ramadi, west of Baghdad.
But it turned out that he was alive and even got in touch with his sister through her social media accounts.
"Oh my family do not think my heart has become a stone,'' he said. "I do miss you, I love you, but I love Allah more."
Amin is now in the news again, after Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday (Sept 8) that Amin and another British militant Reyaad Khan were killed in the country's first air strike in Syria.
Amin, who was referred to as Abdul Raqib Amin in some media reports, left Britain for Syria last year to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Born in Moulvibazar, north-east Bangladesh, he moved to Aberdeen where his parents ran a takeaway restaurant for years, the Telegraph reported.
Amin was described by the local media as a keen footballer who frequented nightclubs and liked drinking. He once told ITV that he was an engineering student, but it was not clear where he studied.
He later moved to Birmingham where he became radicalised, the Telegraph quoted his school friend Stephen Marvin as saying.
"I spoke to him a couple of times. I heard about him being brainwashed and all that so I wanted to speak to him and find out exactly the mindset he was in and get his point of view.
Amin told his friend that he met some people in Birmingham and was offered a chance to go to Syria with the promise that he could return to Britain any time he wanted.
"He went over and spent three months in a Koran-type camp that gets you into their type of thinking around the Koran. Then he went on to three months military camp after that,'' Marvin was quoted as saying.
"The first time I phoned I heard a gunshot in the background. He said it was rebel fighters. I asked him, aren't you scared of getting shot?
"He said, if he dies, he'll be with Allah. That kind of shocked me...He had no fear whatsoever of death. He was confident he was going to a better place," said Marvin.
Maqbool Chaudry, 46, owner of the Khyber Pass takeaway near the Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre, knew Amin since he was a young boy, according to the Guardian. He said Amin was a normal youngster who would look up to him and call him uncle.
"If he had any problems he would come and speak to me. What I saw in the last few months that I knew him was that he started to go quiet. I just thought he had one or two family issues and it was because of that. The next thing I knew he had moved away. Then I was watching the telly one day and I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Chaudry was quoted as saying.
"Personally I felt guilty for a while. I felt that if I could have seen it coming, I could have done something. But we never had any indication. I just treated him like one of my own kids."
In June 2014, Amin came to public attention in an ISIS propaganda video, alongside Khan. The video was entitled "There is No Life without Jihad" and Amin was brandishing a machine gun.
"Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you've got, the big car you've got, the family you have? Are you willing to sacrifice this, for the sake of Allah? Definitely, if you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more than this," he said, according to Telegraph.
Weeks after appearing in the video, Amin gave an interview to ITV in which he described the moment his plane took off from Gatwick Airport as "one of the happiest of my life".
Amin's cousin Sueb Miah told the Guardian that he had previously pleaded with Amin to return home.
"It's a real shock. I guess it means I finally know what happened to him but I can't say I'm glad to find out. I can't talk on behalf of the community but as far as I was concerned ,when I was growing up with him, he was a good boy. When he was younger he did his prayers, he had lots of friends, he mixed with everybody.
"He would always stick up for the weaker person. He had a big heart. I don't know what happened to him."