No, a teen did not join Isis because he missed the Ucas deadline

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Saturday 27 December 2014 19:00

Several papers today carry the story of one "Jonathan Edwards", a jihadist who allegedly joined Isis because he missed the Ucas deadline.

The story is sourced from a tweet by Abū Dāwūd, who claims to be a "journalist reporting on foreign affairs" on his Twitter profile.

Just one problem: he made it all up.

Dāwūd singles out the Mail in his criticism but the claim was repeated in the Times(£) and Metro - and all three pointed out the information was unverified.

According to a reverse image search, the picture first emerged earlier in December. While there there is no certainty about whether it is genuine or the identity of the boy involved, we do know that the Ucas deadline has not yet passed (it is 15 October for Oxbridge, and January for everywhere else.)

As Shiraz Maher, a senior fellow at ICSR (International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence), King’s College London, notes: "The "jihadi" Jonathan Edwards story should be a lesson to the media to verify Syria news before publishing. We constantly said this was fake."

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