A former soldier who crowd-funded a trip to fight ISIS says he suffered five months of hell back in the UK after being arrested for suspected terrorism.
Adrian Harrison was arrested by armed police as he stepped off the plane in Manchester after three months volunteering with the Peshmerga army in Kurdistan.
The father of three was part of a team of volunteers dubbed the ‘Kurdistan foreign legion’ who would act as bait to draw out the ISIS fighters.
Adrian said being accused of being a terrorist himself was the worst thing anyone could do to him:
It was a real kick in the teeth, and to be thought of as a terrorist after everything I had gone through was incredibly downgrading.
They raided my home and took everything out the house while my partner and youngest child had to wait in the back garden for five hours as I was in a cell. My passport was taken off me so I couldn’t work or travel abroad.
Despite his treatment, Adrian said he was desperate to return to Kurdistan to take up the fight against ISIS:
I knew I was not going out there to stop the war – but I massively believe in the fight against terrorism. If I could make a difference then brilliant.
Adrian spent ten years in the British army and toured Iraq and Afghanistan but he said nothing in his past prepared him for the shock of his time in Kurdistan.
He spent nearly three months there and every night would go onto the front line, hammering rounds down on ISIS so they would fire back and reveal their position – enabling them to be ambushed.
“I was used to modern day warfare in the British Army but this really was World War One tactics,” said Adrian.
Adrian said that despite his family’s protestations he was hoping to return to action now he has had his passport returned:
If I can raise enough money to fund myself without donations from the public I will definitely go back again.
The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases but in response to Adrian’s case Security Minister John Hayes issued a warning to anyone from the UK travelling to conflict zones.
The best way to help the people of these countries is to donate to registered charities not by taking part in a conflict overseas, which can be an offence under both criminal and terror laws.
I’m sure Adrian’s efforts are massively appreciated by a lot of people.