A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after the brother of two British teenagers, who were killed while fighting for an Islamist group in Syria, was stabbed to death in Brighton.
Abdul Deghayes was found in the passenger seat of a grey Volkswagen Polo which had crashed into other cars near St Joseph’s church just before 9.30pm on Saturday.
The 22-year-old suffered a “number of stab wounds” which were “caused maliciously and not as a result of the collision”, Sussex Police said. A murder investigation is underway.
Mr Deghayes died from his injuries at 6.28am on Sunday at the Royal Sussex Country Hospital. Elm Grove, where he was found, has been cordoned off.
Officers believe Mr Deghayes may have been stabbed nearby in Wellington Road, and “crime scene investigators and a search team have been conducting extensive examinations of the area”.
A 26-year-old man was arrested after handing himself into police on Sunday afternoon.
Police said he was “believed to have been present at the incident”, but detectives are “still looking to trace other people who may have been involved”.
Abdul Deghayes’ father, Abubaker Deghayes, said it was a “great shock” and the family is “in mourning”.
He added: “I can’t even think of who would take such a step to do this to Adbul.
“(He) was very popular with his friends. He loved Brighton a lot. He was a cheerful guy,” he said.
A fourth brother, Amer, speaking from Syria where he is reportedly fighting, said Abdul was someone who “stood up for the weak”.
Abdul Deghayes, who was jailed in 2017 for drug dealing, was the twin brother of Abdullah, who was 18 when he was killed fighting in Syria in 2016.
Their younger brother Jaffar, 17, was killed in 2014 while trying to overthrow Bashar al Assad’s government.
According to a serious case review published in 2017, it is believed both teenagers were fighting with the al Qaeda-affiliated al Nusra Front when they died.
The report also said opportunities were missed to prevent their radicalisation.
Their uncle, Omar Deghayes, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and spent five years in Guantanamo Bay.
Police said the scene of the attack on Abdul Deghayes was “close to the junction with Lewes Road, near to The Level, and at that time of the evening would have been very busy”.
Chief Inspector Andy Bennett said: “We are aware that the car was in collision with other vehicles shortly before he (Abdul Deghayes) was found to have suffered these injuries, which we are satisfied were caused maliciously and not as a result of the collision.”
:: Anyone with information about the attack on Abdul Deghayes should call 101, quoting Operation Login. Alternatively, they can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
(c) Sky News 2019: Man held after brother of Islamist fighters stabbed to death in Brighton