Young British Christian's 'traumatic' journey to radical jihad

Pro-ISIS demonstrators outside the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq in June(AP)

A young man who converted from Christianity to Islam was rescued by his mother after becoming radicalised and joining the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, the BBC reports.

Interviewed on the BBC's Inside Out programme, the 21-year-old's mother – known only as Linda – said her son James converted to Islam three years ago. She was initially pleased with the decision, saying his newfound faith "gave him a strong moral compass".

"He just started exploring, he went to talks, he went to the mosque. He had been Christian previously and somehow he decided to convert to Islam," she explained. Later, she did the same.

After extensive research into the Islamic faith online, James became very devout. He secretly left his north London home for Syria, where he joined those fighting to create a caliphate. Linda describes it as a kind of "rebellion".

"He felt quite upset about the oppression that's going on there and, in his naive mind, he thought he could go out there and help. So he just went," she said, adding: "I was very shocked, I was terrified."

However, James was soon badly wounded in cross-fire after becoming involved with an extremist group linked to ISIS. He told his mother of his injury during a phone call and she decided to travel to Turkey in an attempt to bring him home.

She made her way to the border town of Adana, where she says "I didn't really know where I was going or what I was doing," but was miraculously reunited with her son.

"He just suddenly turned up. I was so relieved. I did actually manage to get my son back."

However, she says the welcome her son has received back in the UK has not been as easy.

She says James was "traumatised" by his experiences, and "got quite a lot of hassle from secret services". With no de-radicalisation counselling or support available, she's now worried that others returning from extreme environments will not be turned from their radical thinking.

"I allowed my son to come back and accepted him with love," Linda said.

"We've got to be careful with young people. Young people can make sudden decisions that are not good, and do dangerous things.

''I think at that stage, whatever the person's doing, they need support."

Scotland Yard has estimated that over 500 British people have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join IS.

The full interview with Linda will be broadcast on BBC One tonight at 7.30pm.