A BRITISH security contractor has had his throat slashed by Islamic State terrorists after being thrown into a hellhole jail in Somalia.
Former Foreign Legion soldier Antony Cox, 48, survived the attack by two caged Islamists who brandished improvised weapons made from razor blades.
But fears for his safety were growing last night amid fears of more plots to kill him inside jihadi-infested Gaal Shire Prison in the strife-torn capital, Mogadishu.
Hardman Cox – a highly-trained soldier and counter terrorism expert who rose to commander during 16 years in the famous French legion – was held during security checks on January 19.
Police at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde Airport were reported to have accused him of “carrying explosive material” while trying to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
But other sources suggested he had been detained over CS gas canisters found in his luggage.
And concern was growing amid fears that corrupt Somali officials may be seeking revenge after the collapse of a big money contract with his former employers.
Somalia’s Ministry of Defence cut ties last April with Dubai-based security firm SKA International, which ran a security arm called Somali Risk Management.
SKA confirmed yesterday that Cox had quit his job on January 5, two weeks before the airport incident.
The Brit – said by his professional online profile to be “skilled in tactics, counter terrorism, first aid, combat and weapons training” – was working a deputy security manager in Mogadishu.
Bearded Cox – who posted Facebook pictures of himself in Mogadishu with an assault rifle – was reported to have been held for three days by a district court after his arrest.
His release was then ordered but another court, the Regional Banadir Court covering Mogadishu, extended his detention pending further inquiries.
Fluent French speaker Cox is originally from London but has family in Redruth, Cornwall, and a home in France, where he lives with wife Amanda.
He said on his LinkedIn profile of his time with the famous legion: “Based out of South America, West and Central Africa, Eastern Europe and South East Asia.
“I have served on all continents, in all climates and stood proudly shoulder to shoulder with over 100 different nationalities, making up the ranks of the Legion.”
He worked as a fitness instructor in London and Essex after his military service ended then switched to security work abroad.
1,000 INMATES CRAMMED IN WITH TERRORISTS
Somali sources said last night that the Brit had managed to resist the attack and suffered superficial wounds to his neck during the jail attack.
Consular officials in Somalia and security teams were last night understood to have visited the jail seeking assurances that Cox would be protected.
Gaal Shire Prison – recently rebranded the Central Prison of Mogadishu – is one of the most dangerous on earth housing feral fanatics from the Islamic State and Al-Shabaab groups.
Around 1,000 inmates – including dozens awaiting executions on Death Row – endure a daily struggle to survive crammed inside filthy, crumbling cell blocks crammed with danger men.
A spokesman for SKA said yesterday: “We can confirm that Antony Cox was a former employee of SKA International Group.
Sources: The Sun