AN Islamic State fighter and former Penarth student has been found alive in a jail in northern Syria, it has been revealed.

Aseel Muthana, a former St Cyres school pupil, left South Wales to join IS and now wants to return.

He was found by ITV Wales journalists in Syria at the end of September, where he said he missed his life in Cardiff and his family, and wished to return to Wales.

The Cardiff-born Islamic State supporter secretly travelled to Syria in 2014 at the age of 17, telling his parents he was going to a friend’s house for maths revision.

Mr Muthana has been on the United Nations sanction list since 2015, after he and his brother Nasser appeared in IS propaganda videos. Nasser is believed to have been killed by an air strike in 2016.

When reporters spoke to Mr Muthana’s mother Umm Amin, and told her her son was alive, she said she felt “extreme joy” and pleaded for authorities to allow him to return to the UK.

In an open statement, she said: “To whom it may concern, and to those with compassionate hearts.

“We are not against you (the Kurdish authorities) but I am writing with the care that a mother has for her children, my husband is in hospital sick with the weight of worry.

“My little boy went seduced [by IS] and brainwashed with ideas that were not his. So that he doesn’t know what is right and what is wrong, dominated and led by his emotions. My boy was gentle and merciful and didn’t know violence and harshness. I appeal to you.

“I appeal and ask you for forgiveness and safety from those who destroyed his childhood and youth by taking the swiftest measures to bring him to his father and mother’s bosom who longs to see him. Have compassion for our situation.”

Alun Cairns, Vale of Glamorgan MP and Secretary of State for Wales, said classmates of Mr Muthana had spoken to him about “their fear and disgust over calls for his return” under condition of anonymity.

One of them is reported to have said to Mr Cairns: “I felt sick with fear when I discovered that Aseel had been found alive. My friends and I who went to school with him had thought that he had been killed.

“I have recurring nightmares about him. I am frightened and disgusted by calls to allow him to return to the UK. Nobody expected him to become a jihadist, he seemed such a nice person.”

Mr Cairns said: “It was distressing to hear first-hand how scared and unsafe some of my young constituents feel at news that Aseel Muthana has been found in a prison in Syria. One young person in her early twenties told me she has been having nightmares about her jihadist former schoolmate since he joined IS.

“Those calling for compassion for IS terrorists should remember the brutality with which they dispatched thousands of innocents prior to their capture. We must put the security of the British people, including my constituents, before any misplaced sense of pity.

“If these jihadists were still at large, they would still be committing barbaric crimes as part of the IS regime. The only reason they now want to come home is because they have been defeated and imprisoned.

“I am clear that anyone who has left the UK to support terrorism is not welcome home.

“I have written to my colleague the Home Secretary about this case.”

Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty said: "“I am in contact with South Wales Police about this unexpected news.

"Those who engage in or support acts of terrorism, or engage with proscribed organisations should expect to face justice. And those who seek to encourage or recruit young people to extremist organisations in this country or abroad should equally expect to face the full force of the law.

"I was heartened by the utter rejection and condemnation of the actions of those who travelled to fight with Daesh / ISIS across all our communities.”

St Cyres School declined to comment.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.

“The safety and security of our country and our communities remains the government’s number one priority.

“Those who have fought for or supported Daesh should wherever possible face justice for their crimes in the most appropriate jurisdiction, which will often be in the region where their offences have been committed.”