Tag Archives: British Jihadists

British ISIS woman Sally Jones threatens to blow herself up

Sally Jones, who left the UK to join the extremist group of ISIS, has threatened to blow herself up after her husband was killed in a drone strike in Syria’s Raqqa.

Jones, 47, is a former punk rocker, originally from Kent. She has converted to Islam and has been radicalized recently through direct contact with terrorist groups online.

Quoting a Muslim extremist woman who killed herself along with scores of Russian soldiers in a truck bombing in 2000, Jones has expressed herself on the social media that she could be about to become a “black widow” suicide bomber.

The term “Black Widows” refers to a group of Chechen Muslim women whose husbands were killed by the Russian forces in Chechnya.

She moved to Syria with her 10-year-old son in 2013 and joined ISIS after being brainwashed.

“I know what I’m doing. Paradise has a price and I hope this will be the price for Paradise,” Jones tweeted. If she carried out her threat, she would be ISIS’s first widely known female suicide bomber.

Her husband Junaid Hussain, 21, was a cyber-hacker and a key propagandist and recruiter for the ISIS terror group. He was killed in an airstrike in Raqqa, the major bastion of ISIS in Syria.

Jones has been following her husband’s path, recruiting young men and women to join ISIS’s ranks.

“I would never love anyone but him,” the extremist widow said on Tweeter, referring to her dead husband, though the group’s leadership prevents widows from staying a long time without husbands, according to ISIS-linked sources.

Jones’s message came after her husband found killed in an airstrike on Raqqa last August.

see Sally Anne Jones

British Jihadists – Thomas Evans – Life & Death

British Jihadists

Thomas Evans 

Life & Death

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The mother of a white British jihadi killed fighting for  Al-Shabaab, the Somali terror group, has spoken of the complicated emotions she experienced when she learnt of her son’s death.

See Below for  more information on Al-Shabaab

Sally Evans with a photograph of her son

Sally Evans, whose son Thomas was killed while leading an assault on security forces in Kenya, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show that she had been both “totally devastated” and relieved to hear of her son’s death.

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Death of British jihadi Thomas Evans captured on camera

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EVERY time Sally Evans spoke to her son on the phone he would tell her he loved her — only the last time, something was different.

“He said it like he really meant it. They were the last words I had with him,” The 57-year-old mother of two told news.com.au.

“He never did tell me what he was doing, it was only after his death that I found out exactly what he’d been doing. He would never talk about it.”

At 21, Thomas became the first white British person to join the radical terrorist organisation Al-Shabaab, the group behind the attack on Kenya’s Westgate Mall which killed 67 people and injured 175.

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BBC London exclusive interview with friend of British al-Shabab fighter Thomas Evans

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He converted to Islam at 19 and changed his name to Abdul Hakim before travelling to Egypt to learn Arabic. However after several weeks in the country, he left for Somalia via Ethiopia and Sudan where he trained with the militant group. Now a new documentary, My Son the Jihadi, documents the harrowing impact his disappearance had on those left behind.

The observational footage shows Sally and her other son Micheal, as they grapple with how their beloved son and brother transformed into a terrorist — a struggle made all the more bizarre by the juxtaposition of radicalism against everyday suburban life.

Brothers Thomas and Michael Evans, before Thomas left home and changed his name to Abdul Hakim. Picture: Sally Evans.
Brothers Thomas and Michael Evans, before Thomas left home and changed his name to Abdul Hakim. Picture: Sally Evans

“He wasn’t brought up to be a monster. They’re not brought up to be what they become,” she said. “It’s a poison that is in society that can turn them into this, that can radicalize them and make them think they’re doing the right thing.”

The extraordinary film is the result of 16 months work by former The Australian journalist and The Sunday Times security correspondent Richard Kerbaj who broke the story of Thomas’ involvement with Al-Shabaab after tracking Sally down via the electoral role.

He started visiting her on weekends with a handheld camera and convinced her to tell the family side of her son’s radicalisation. Working as producer on the film, Mr Kerbaj joined forces with executive producer Brian Woods and director Peter Beard to make the piece over nine months.

“It was so difficult to get the parents perspective on it because in most cases parents don’t want to speak,” Mr Kerbaj told news.com.au. “They feel a great sense of isolation, they’re embarrassed, they feel if they speak out the authorities might crack down on them or crack down on their children and they live in the hope their children will return.”

“She was the first mum in the UK to speak out about her son becoming a jihadist. Secular mum, white background, no cultural or religious reference points to Islam … she had no idea about this stuff.”

“This is such a special story because her voice is so unique … There is no PR sense to her she just speaks her mind.”

The fly-on-the-wall style captures surprisingly touching moments including Sally making contact with Sudea, the 14-year-old child bride of Thomas, and his mother who is now living in Sweden.

“We share the same thing that we’re both heartbroken by our children and their choices. And I’m really sorry for that,” Sally tells Sudea’s mother.

Thomas and Michael as children. Picture: Sally Evans.
Thomas and Michael as children. Picture: Sally Evans

The film takes a tragic turn when Sally receives a late-night phone call saying Thomas has been killed in Kenya. An uncensored picture on Twitter shows his thin-frame sprawled on the ground after a gunbattle and leaves no doubt her son is dead.

thomas evans body with arrow
Thomas Evans Body

“I didn’t imagine feeling so empty, so lost, so overwhelmingly sad,” she said. “There’s nothing I can do to make it any better. He’s gone … I’m hurt but I’m angry too, angry that he’s done that to himself.”

Months on from his death, Sally has faced up to atrocities Thomas committed in Africa and is working to raise awareness about radicalisation for families of the 1000 other Britons who are estimated to have joined terrorist groups so far.

For Mr Kerbaj, the story is crucial in stopping others travelling overseas by documenting the devastating impact it can have on families.

“It’s her frankness and her ability to convey her story so eloquently and so plainly,” he said.

“She’s very much the person you see on the screen, she’s all heart and she doesn’t necessarily need to sit there and think through everything, everything just flows out of her so naturally.”

“She still cries because she cries for Thomas, but she’s glad that Abdul Hakim, that convert he became, is dead because he can no longer hurt innocent people. That transformation is just so moving.”

For more information about the documentary click here. If you suspect a loved one of being radicalized contact Living Safe Together in Australia, or the Active Change Foundation in the UK.

Original Story Newscom

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Al-Shabaab

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Al Shabaab and the Rise of Jihad in Kenya

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ShababLogo.png

Participant in the Somali Civil War,
the al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen,
the Yemeni Civil War, and the War on Terror
ShababLogo.png
Seal
ShababFlag.svg
War flagShababAdmin.svg
Administration flag
Active 2006–present
Ideology
Groups Multi-ethnic[1]
Leaders Ahmad Umar (Abu Ubaidah) (6 September 2014–present)[2]
Ahmed Godane  (December 2007–September 2014)[3]
Headquarters Kismayo (22 August 2008–29 September 2012)
Barawe[4] (29 September 2012–5 October 2014)
Area of operations Southern Somalia
Yemen[5]
Strength 7,000–9,000[6]
Part of Al-Qaeda
Originated as Islamic Courts Union
Allies al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
Foreign Mujahedeen
Allied Democratic Forces
Opponents Somalia Somalia

AMISOM
 Yemen
 Australia

 United States

Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (HSM; Arabic: حركة الشباب المجاهدين‎, Ḥarakat ash-Shabāb al-Mujāhidīn; Somali: Xarakada Mujaahidiinta Alshabaab; “Mujahideen Youth Movement”, “Movement of Striving Youth”), more commonly known as Al-Shabaab (Arabic: الشباب‎; meaning “The Youth” or “The Youngsters”), is a jihadist terrorist group based in East Africa. In 2012, it pledged allegiance to the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda.[7] In February of the year, some of the group’s leaders quarreled with Al-Qaeda over the union,[8][9] and quickly lost ground.[10] Al-Shabaab’s troop strength was estimated at 7,000 to 9,000 militants in 2014.[6] As of 2015, the group has retreated from the major cities, controlling a few rural areas.[11]

Al-Shabaab is an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), which splintered into several smaller factions after its defeat in 2006 by Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the TFG’s Ethiopian military allies.[12] The group describes itself as waging jihad against “enemies of Islam”, and is engaged in combat against the Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Al-Shabaab has been designated as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.[13][14] As of June 2012, the US State Department has open bounties on several of the group’s senior commanders.[15]

In early August 2011, the Transitional Federal Government’s troops and their AMISOM allies managed to capture all of Mogadishu from the Al-Shabaab militants.[16] An ideological rift within the group’s leadership also emerged, and several of the organization’s senior commanders were assassinated.[17] Due to its Wahhabi roots, Al Shabaab is hostile to Sufi traditions,[18] and has often clashed with the militant Sufi group Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a.[19] The group has also been suspected of having links with Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram. Additionally, it attracted some members from western countries, notably Samantha Lewthwaite and Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki.

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Inside an Al-Shabaab training camp

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In August 2014, the Somali government-led Operation Indian Ocean was launched to clean up the remaining insurgent-held pockets in the countryside.[20] On 1 September 2014, a U.S. drone strike carried out as part of the broader mission killed Al-Shabaab leader Moktar Ali Zubeyr.[21] U.S. authorities hailed the raid as a major symbolic and operational loss for Al-Shabaab, and the Somali government offered a 45-day amnesty to all moderate members of the militant group. Political analysts also suggested that the insurgent commander’s death will likely lead to Al-Shabaab’s fragmentation and eventual dissolution.[22]

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THE INSIDE STORY; Wolves at Westgate

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Name

Al-Shabaab is also known as Ash-Shabaab, Hizbul Shabaab (Arabic: “Party of the Youth”),[23] and the Popular Resistance Movement in the Land of the Two Migrations (PRM).[24] For short, the organization is referred to as HSM, which stands for “Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen”. The term Shabaab means “youth” in Arabic, and the group should not be confused with similarly named groups.

Organization and leadership

See also: Mujahideen

Al-Shabaab’s composition is multiethnic, with its leadership positions mainly occupied by Afghanistan– and Iraq-trained ethnic Somalis and foreigners.[25] According to the National Counterterrorism Center, the group’s rank-and-file members hail from disparate local groups, sometimes recruited by force.[26] Unlike most of the organization’s top leaders,[27] its foot soldiers are primarily concerned with nationalist and clan-related affairs as opposed to the global jihad. They are also prone to infighting and shifting alliances.[26] According to the Jamestown Foundation, Al-Shabaab seeks to exploit these vulnerabilities by manipulating clan networks in order to retain power. The group itself is likewise not entirely immune to local politics.[27] More recently, Muslim converts from neighbouring countries have been conscripted, typically to do undesirable or difficult work.[28]

Although al-Shabaab’s leadership ultimately falls upon al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the internal leadership is not fully clear, and with foreign fighters trickling out of the country, its structure is increasingly decentralized. Ahmed Abdi Godane was publicly named as emir of al-Shabaab in December 2007.[29] In August 2011, Godane was heavily criticized by Al-Shabaab co-founder Hassan Dahir Aweys and others for not letting aid into the hunger stricken parts of southern Somalia. Although not formally announced, Shabaab was effectively split up into a “foreign legion,” led by Godane, and a coalition of factions forming a “national legion” under Aweys. The latter group often refused to take orders from Godane and the two groups hardly talked to each other. In February 2012, Godane made Bay’ah, or an oath of allegiance, to al-Qaeda. With it he likely hoped to reclaim and extend his authority, and to encourage foreign fighters to stay. This move will further complicate the cooperation with the “national legion” of al-Shabaab.[7] Godane was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Somalia on September 1, 2014.[30] Ahmad Umar was named Godane’s successor on 6 September 2014, he is believed to have previously played a role in al-Shabaab’s internal secret service known as Amniya.[31]

Leaders

Other leaders:

Mukhtar Robow – Abu Mansoor

Mukhtar Robow (“Abu Mansoor”), the Second Deputy Leader of Al-Shabaab.

Foreigners

al-Shabaab is said to have many foreigners within its ranks, particularly at the leadership level.[25][50] Fighters from the Persian Gulf and international jihadists were called to join the holy war against the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies. Though Somali Islamists did not originally use suicide bombing tactics, the foreign elements of al-Shabaab have been blamed for several suicide bombings.[51][52] A 2006 UN report identified Libya, and Egypt, among countries in the region, as the main backers of the Islamist extremists. Egypt has a longstanding policy of securing the Nile River flow by destabilizing Ethiopia.[53][54]

Formerly a predominantly nationalist organization, al-Shabaab repositioned itself as a militant Islamist group that also attracted a large cadre of Western devotees.[55] As of 2011, the group’s foreign recruitment strategy was active in the United States, where members attempted to recruit from the local Muslim communities.[56] According to an investigative report by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, Al Shabaab recruited over 40 Muslim Americans since 2007.[56] In 2010, the New York Times reported that after more than a dozen Americans were killed in Somalia, the organization’s recruiting success had decreased in the US.[57]

These American and foreign recruits played a dual role within the organization, serving as mercenaries and as a propaganda tool for radicalization and recruitment. These individuals, including Omar Hammami, appeared in propaganda videos posted in online forums in order to appeal to disaffected Muslim youth and inspire them to join the Islamist struggle.[58] This was a top-down strategy, wherein Islamist agents attempted to use mosques and legitimate businesses as a cover to meet, recruit, and raise funds for operations in the US and abroad.[58] By mid-2013, the U.S. Congress reported that such militant recruitment appeared to have halted.[59]

Most of the foreign al-Shabaab members come from Yemen, Sudan, the Swahili Coast, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. As of 2010, their number was estimated at between 200 to 300 militants, augmented by around 1,000 diasporan ethnic Somalis.[25] Many of Al-Shabaab’s foot soldiers also belong to Somalia’s marginalized ethnic minorities from the farming south.[60]

Of the foreign members, Jonathan Evans, the former head of MI5, addressing a London security conference in 2010,[61] advised that “a significant number of UK residents” were training with al-Shabaab. Linking this increased involvement with a reduction in Al Qaida activity in Pakistan’s tribal areas, he also suggested that since Somalia, like Afghanistan, at the time had no effective central government, the presence of foreign fighters there could inspire terrorist incidents in the UK. “It is only a matter of time before we see terrorism on our streets inspired by those who are today fighting alongside al-Shabaab.”[62] The actual number has been estimated at between 50[63] and 100[64] persons; one source estimating around 60 active Al-Shabaab recruiters, including 40 Somalis and an additional 20 mainly British-based ‘clean skins‘, individuals who have not committed any crimes but are believed to have ties with the group.[65] There is also evidence of funding of the group by Somalis resident in Britain.[62][66]

Of the ten people subject to control orders (now Tpim orders) in 2012, at least five are associated with al-Shabaab: (pseudonymously) CC, CE “a British citizen of Iranian origin, aged 28 in 2012”, CF, and DD “a non-British citizen […] believed […] to have been associated with the funding and promotion of [terrorism-related activity] in East Africa.”[67] At least two British Somalis, Ibrahim Magag[66] (referred to as BX in Court documentation) and Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed,[68] have absconded.

In 2012, it was also reported that the group was attracting an increasing number of non-Somali recent converts from Kenya, a predominantly Christian country in the African Great Lakes region. Estimates in 2014 placed the figure of Kenyan fighters at around 25% of Al-Shabaab’s total forces.[69] Referred to as the “Kenyan Mujahideen” by Al-Shabaab’s core members,[28] the converts are typically young and overzealous. Poverty has made them easier targets for the group’s recruiting activities. The Kenyan insurgents can blend in with the general population of Kenya, and they are often harder to track by law enforcement.[70] Reports suggest that al-Shabaab is attempting to build an even more multi-ethnic generation of fighters in the larger region.[1] One such recent convert, who helped carry out the Kampala bombings but now cooperates with the Kenyan police, believes that the group is trying to use local Kenyans to do its “dirty work” for it, while its own core members escape unscathed.[28] According to diplomats, Muslim areas in coastal Kenya and Tanzania, such as Mombasa and Zanzibar, are especially vulnerable for recruitment.[1]

Foreigners from Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Afghan-trained Somalis, play an important role in the group’s leadership ranks owing to their combat experience. Bringing with them specialized skills, these commanders often lead the indoctrination of new recruits, and provide training in remote-controlled roadside bombings, suicide attack techniques, and the assassination and kidnapping of government officials, journalists, humanitarian and civil society workers.[25]

Foreign al-Shabaab commanders include:[71]

Foreign leaders and members:

Jehad Serwan Mostafa

Jehad Serwan Mostafa (“Emir Anwar”), a senior Al-Shabaab commander and trainer.

  • Fazul Abdullah Mohammed: Mohammed, a Kenyan national, was appointed by Osama bin Laden as Al-Qaeda’s leader in East Africa in late 2009. Before the death of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, Mohammed served as the military operations chief for Al-Qaeda in the region. He was an experienced militant commander who was known to be able to cross national borders with ease. In August 2008, he eluded a police dragnet in Kenya. Mohammed had been hiding in Somalia with Shabaab and the Islamic Courts for years. Mohammed was considered to be Al-Shabaab’s military leader, while Muktar Abdelrahman Abu Zubeyr was Al-Shabaab’s spiritual leader. He was killed on June 8, 2011.[72]
  • Jehad Serwan Mostafa (alias “Ahmed Gurey”, “Anwar al-Amriki” and “Emir Anwar”): a US-born senior Al-Shabaab commander. In charge of various functions for the militant group, including serving as a leader for foreign fighters within the organization as well as training insurgents. Fluent in English, Somali and Arabic, he is also a media specialist.[73]
  • Shaykh Muhammad Abu Fa’id: Fai’d, a Saudi citizen, serves as a top financier and a “manager” for Shabaab.
  • Abu Musa Mombasa: Mombasa, a Pakistani citizen, serves as Shabaab’s chief of security and training.
  • Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki: Amriki, whose real name was Omar Hammami, was a U.S. citizen who converted to Islam and traveled to Somalia in 2006. Once in Somalia, he quickly rose through the ranks. He served as a military commander, recruiter, financier, and propagandist. Amriki appeared in several Shabaab propaganda tapes. He became a primary recruiter for Al Shabaab; issued written statements on their behalf and appeared in its propaganda videos and audio recordings. An indictment unsealed in August 2010 charged him with providing material support to terrorists.[74] In January 2013, Amriki was ousted from al-Shabaab because it felt he had joined in a “narcissistic pursuit of fame”. He then publicly voiced ideological differences with the group via YouTube and Twitter, asserting that local militant leaders were only concerned with fighting in Somalia and not globally. He was assassinated by the insurgents in September 2013.[75] He was removed from the FBI‘s Most Wanted Terrorists list in November 2013.[76] He was removed from the US State Department’s Rewards for Justice list in January 2014.[77]
Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir

Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir (“Ikrima”), a senior Al-Shabaab regional commander.

  • Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir (“Ikrima”): a Kenya-born Somali Al-Shabaab commander alleged by the Kenyan government to have planned several attacks in the country, including a plot to target the UN’s bureau in Nairobi, the Kenyan parliamentary building, and an Ethiopian restaurant patronized by Somali government representatives. According to US officials, Abdulkadir was also a close associate of the late Al-Qaeda operatives Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan.[78][79]
  • Mahmud Mujajir: Mujajir, a Sudanese citizen, is Shabaab’s chief of recruitment for suicide bombers.
  • Samantha Lewthwaite: Allegedly an Al-Shabaab member, she is believed to have been behind an attack on a sports bar in Mombasa in 2012. Widow of 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay.
  • Issa Osman Issa: Issa serves as a top al-Qaeda recruiter and military strategist for Shabaab. Before joining, he participated in the simultaneous attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998. He has been described as a central player in the simultaneous attacks on the Paradise Hotel in Kikambala, Kenya, in 2002, and the attempt that year to down an Israeli airliner in Mombasa.[80][81]
  • Mohamed Mohamud, also known as Sheikh Dulayadayn, Gamadhere or Mohamed Kuno, a Kenyan citizen of Somali origin who serves as a commander of Al-Shabaab operations in Kenya. Named by the Kenyan government as the mastermind behind the Garissa University College attack.[82][83]

Terrorist designation

Countries and organizations below have officially listed Al-Shabaab as a terrorist organization.

Country Date References
 Australia 22 August 2009 [84]
 Canada 5 March 2010[85] [86]
 New Zealand 10 February 2010 [87]
 Norway [14]
 United States 29 February 2008 [13]
 United Arab Emirates 15 November 2014 [88]
 United Kingdom March 2010 [89]
 Singapore

History and activities

Political situation in Somalia as of October 12, 2014.

While Al-Shabaab previously represented the hard-line militant youth movement within the Islamic Courts Union (ICU),[90] it is now described as an extremist splinter group of the ICU. Since the ICU’s downfall, however, the distinction between the youth movement and the so-called successor organization to the ICU, the PRM, appears to have been blurred. Al-Shabaab had recently begun encouraging people from across society, including elders, to join their ranks. In February 2012, Fu’ad Mohamed Khalaf Shongole, the chief of awareness raising of al-Shabaab, said that “At this stage of the jihad, fathers and mothers must send their unmarried girls to fight alongside the (male) militants”. The addition of elders and young girls marks a change in the movement, which had previously involved only men, particularly young boys.[91]

Their core consisted of veterans who had fought and defeated the secular Mogadishu faction leaders of the Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) at the Second Battle of Mogadishu. Their origins are not clearly known, but former members say Hizbul Shabaab was founded as early as 2004. The membership of Al-Shabaab also includes various foreign fighters from around the world, according to an Islamic hardliner Mukhtar Robow “Abu Manssor”.[92]

In January 2009, Ethiopian forces withdrew from Somalia and Al-Shabaab carried on its fight against former ally and Islamic Courts Union leader, President Sharif Ahmed, who was the head of the Transitional Federal Government.[93] Al-Shabaab saw some success in its campaigns against the weak Transitional Federal Government, capturing Baidoa, the base of the Transitional Federal Parliament, on January 26, 2009, and killing three ministers of the government in a December 3, 2009 suicide bomb attack on a medical school graduation ceremony.[94]

Before the drought in 2010, Somalia, including the Al-Shabaab controlled areas, had its best crop yield in seven years. Al-Shabaab claimed some credit for the success, saying that their reduction of over-sized cheap food imports allowed Somalia’s own grain production, which normally has high potential, to flourish.[95] They asserted that this policy had the effect of shifting income from urban to rural areas, from mid-income groups to low-income groups, and from overseas farmers to local farmers. However, in response to the drought, Al-Shabaab announced in July 2011 that it had withdrawn its restrictions on international humanitarian workers.[96]

In 2011, according to the head of the U.N.’s counter-piracy division, Colonel John Steed, Al-Shabaab increasingly sought to cooperate with other criminal organizations and pirate gangs in the face of dwindling funds and resources.[97] Steed, however, acknowledged that he had no definite proof of operational ties between the Islamist militants and the pirates. Detained pirates also indicated to UNODC officials that some measure of cooperation on their part with Al-Shabaab militants was necessary, as they have increasingly launched maritime raids from areas in southern Somalia controlled by the insurgent group. Al-Shabaab members have also extorted the pirates, demanding protection money from them and forcing seized pirate gang leaders in Harardhere to hand over 20% of future ransom proceeds.[98]

Despite routinely expelling, attacking and harassing aid workers, Al-Shabaab permits some agencies to work in areas under its control. At the height of its territorial control it implemented a system of aid agency regulation, taxation and surveillance. Where agencies are allowed to operate, this is often due to the desire of Al-Shabaab to coopt and materially and politically benefit from the provision of aid and services.[99] Senior aid agency representatives often strongly rejected claims that they talked with Al-Shabaab, while aid workers working in Al-Shabaab controlled areas often reported they directly negotiated with the group out of necessity.[100]

While Al-Shabaab has been reduced in power and size since the beginning of the coordinated operation against it by the Somalian military and the Kenyan army, the group has continued its efforts at recruitment and territorial control. The group maintains training camps in areas near Kismayo in the southern regions of Somalia. One such camp was constructed in Laanta Bur village near Afgooye, which is also where the former K-50 airport is located.[101] On July 11, 2012, Somali federal troops and their AMISOM allies captured the area from the militants.[102]

Opposition

The U.S. has asserted that al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda pose a global threat.[103] Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that “U.S. operations against al-Qaida are now concentrating on key groups in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.”[104]

Complaints made against the group include its attacks on aid workers and harsh enforcement of Sharia law. According to journalist Jon Lee Anderson:

The number of people in Somalia who are dependent on international food aid has tripled since 2007, to an estimated 3.6 million. But there is no permanent foreign expatriate presence in southern Somalia, because the Shabaab has declared war on the UN and on Western non-governmental organizations. International relief supplies are flown or shipped into the country and distributed, wherever possible, through local relief workers. Insurgents routinely attack and murder them, too; forty-two have been killed in the past two years alone.[93]

Shabaab have persecuted Somalia’s small Christian minority, sometimes affixing the label on people they suspect of working for Ethiopian intelligence.[105] The group has also desecrated the graves of prominent Sufi Muslims in addition to a Sufi mosque and university, claiming that Sufi practices conflict with their strict interpretation of Islamic law.[106][107] This has led to confrontations with Sufi organized armed groups who have organized under the banner of Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a.[108]

Echoing the transition from a nationalistic struggle to one with religious pretenses, Al Shabaab’s propaganda strategy is starting to reflect this shift. Through their religious rhetoric Al Shabaab attempts to recruit and radicalize potential candidates, demoralize their enemies, and dominate dialogue in both national and international media. According to reports Al Shabaab is trying to intensify the conflict: “It would appear from the alleged AMISOM killings that it is determined to portray the war as an affair between Christians and Muslims to shore up support for its fledgling cause… The bodies, some beheaded, were displayed alongside Bibles and crucifixes. The group usually beheads those who have embraced Christianity or Western ideals. Militants have begun placing beheaded corpses next to bibles and crucifixes in order to intimidate local populations.”[109] In April 2010 Al Shabaab announced that it would begin banning radio stations from broadcasting BBC and Voice of America, claiming that they were spreading Christian propaganda. By effectively shutting down the Somali media they gain greater control of the dialog surrounding their activities.[110]

Defections

In 2009, Al-Shabaab witnessed a number of its fighters, including several leaders, defect to Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government. One such high profile defection was that in early November 2009 of Sheikh Mohamed Abdullahi (also known as “Sheikh Bakistani”), who commanded the Maymana Brigade. Sheikh Bakistani told Voice of America (VOA) Somali Services that he found the group’s suicide missions and executions unbearable. He also indicated that his father, a well-known local religious leader, had visited him several times and helped convince him to defect. However, a spokesman for Al-Shabaab denied that Sheikh Bakistani was a member of the group.[111] During the same month, in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Villa Somalia arranged by the Somali federal government, one former Al-Shabaab fighter reported being disillusioned with the group’s direction, indicating that while he began fighting in 2006 “to kick out the Ethiopian invaders”, he defected a month ago, “disgusted by the false interpretations Al-Shabaab give of Islam”. Similarly, a former Hizbul Islam commander recently defected to the Somali government; one of his family members (another Hizbul Islam commander) had been murdered by Al-Shabaab militants as punishment for having escorted a UN convoy. He said in the VOA interview that “if you don’t want to fight anymore, there’s no point. That’s why I quit”.[112] In December 2009, Sheikh Ali Hassan Gheddi, who at the time served as Deputy Commander in-Chief of Al-Shabaab militants in the Middle Shabele region, also defected to the government, indicating that “Al-Shabaab’s cruelty against the people is what forced me to defect to the government side. They extort money from the people and deal with them against the teaching of Islam”. Another reason he gave for defecting was Al-Shabaab’s then prohibition on the UN World Food Programme (WFP) because he felt that it directly affects civilians.[113]

With money from extortion dwindling in areas like Mogadishu,[114] defections in the face of AMISOM forces, among other internal issues, Al-Shabaab is turning to other militant Islamic groups for support. Al Shabaab has declared their support in order to bolster their numbers and has made a number of strategic operational ties to both Al Qaeda and AQAP in Yemen. In some cases Al Shabaab has begun flying the Al Qeada-Iraq banner at some of its rallies in order to demonstrate solidarity with the group. There are signs that Al-Shabaab militants are learning from Al Qaeda’s propaganda methods. “Shabaab’s propaganda has increasingly been slicked up to resemble messages produced by Al Qaeda’s ‘As-Sahab’ (‘The Clouds’) media wing and AQAP’s Inspire magazine, including the release of rap songs by Omar Hammami.”[58] It is unclear how the death of AQAP leader Anwar al-Aulaqi and others has affected this bourgeoning relationship between the two. As is evident by their merger with Hizb-ul-Islam in December 2010, Al-Shabaab is turning to former rivals for assistance as their numbers decrease due to defections and casualties directly resulting from battles with AMISOM forces.[115]

In June 2012, TFG spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman announced that around 500 militants had already defected from Al-Shabaab to fight alongside government forces. He added that the defections were reportedly increasing on a daily basis since TFG forces had captured the strategically important town of Afgooye from the insurgent group. AMISOM spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda similarly indicated that AU commanders were witnessing more defections than at any previous time, a fact which he suggested was “a sign al-Shabab is losing cohesion, losing command and control.”[116] Al-Shabaab’s increasingly strident rules, compounded by extortion, harsh punishments, indiscriminate killings and forced conscription of young men and boys, had also reportedly alienated local residents, encouraging a wave of defections.[117]

On September 5, 2012, a further 200 Al-Shabaab militants and a few senior commanders in Afmadow surrendered to the coalition forces. The defections were interpreted as substantially enhancing the allied offensive since the insurgents could provide details on the Islamist group’s combat strategy.[118]

On September 22, 2012, an additional 200 Al-Shabaab insurgents in the town of Garsale near Jowhar surrendered to allied troops. This followed a round of internal battles between rival militants, which left eight of the group’s fighters dead, including two top commanders. AMISOM announced in a press statement that it expects the total number of Al-Shabaab defections in the area to reach 250 men.[119]

Since the start of Operation Indian Ocean on August 2014, over 700 Al-Shabaab militants have surrendered to the Federal Government.[120]

On 27 December 2014, a Somali intelligence officer indicated that senior Al-Shabaab commander Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi (“Zaki”) surrendered to local police in the southwestern Gedo province. According to the official, Hersi may have turned himself in after having fallen out earlier in the year with other Al-Shabaab members loyal to the group’s late leader Godane.[121] On 8 March 2015, the US government officially removed Zaki from its Rewards for Justice List. The decision was reached after negotiations between the Somali federal government and US authorities, which concluded that the former insurgent commander had met the conditions unambiguously establishing that he was no longer associated with the militant group. This in turn came after Zaki had publicly disavowed ties to Al-Shabaab, renounced violence, and fully took part in the peace process.[122]

On 17 January 2015, Luq District Police Commissioner Siyad Abdulkadir Mohamed announced that Sheikh Osman Sheikh Mohamed, the commander of Al-Shabaab’s militia in the Luq area, had turned himself in to the federal authorities. The rebel leader likewise reportedly handed over all of his weaponry. According to the police official, further Al-Shabaab members intend to defect. He also indicated that the federal government welcomes all former insurgents who disavow of the use of violence and instead pledge to take part in the peace process.[123]

On 7 March 2015, the Dhusamareeb administration announced that Al-Shabaab landmine expert Abdullahi Mohamed “Madoobe” had surrendered to government forces stationed in the town. According to the local district commissioner Abdirahman Ali Mohamed “Geeda-Qorow” and police commander Abdullahi Garar, the bomb specialist was subsequently put under their protective custody. Garar indicated that Mohamed had also previously trained as a bodyguard. At a press conference, Mohamed concurrently renounced ties with Al-Shabaab, denounced its ideology, and urged young fighters within the militant group to follow suit and defect.[124]

On March 30, Senior Al-Shabaab officer Bashaan Ali Hassan (“Mohamed Ali”) turned himself in to Somali National Army officials in Hudur. According to local residents, the militant leader had served in the insurgent group’s Bakool and Lower Shabelle province contingents. SNA commander in Bakool Abdirahman Mohamed Osman “Tima-Adde” indicated that the government forces were conducting a probe to ascertain the circumstances surrounding Hassan’s surrender. He also hailed the defection as a major setback for Al-Shabaab and its leadership.[125]

A senior al-Shabaab commander Abdiqadir Mumin, and approximately 20 of his followers, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in October 2015. The twenty were part of a group of approximately 300 fighters, the remainder of the group rejected the oath of allegiance.[1

Al-Shabaab uses various media in order to proliferate their propaganda. Al-Shabaab operates its own radio station, Radio Andalus, and has acquired relay stations and seized other equipment from private radio stations including some from the BBC. Presenters broadcast in Somali, Arabic, Swahili and English.[128] Besides radio, the Internet is the most heavily utilized by Al-Shabaab and other militant Islamic groups such as Al-Qaeda because it is the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach a large audience. As the internet is especially popular with today’s youth, organizations such as Al-Shabaab are using online forums and chat rooms in order to recruit young followers to their cause. Al-Shabaab’s official website, which has since been taken down, featured posts, videos and official statements in English, Arabic and Somali, as well as online classrooms to educate followers.[129] Prior to its expulsion from Mogadishu in mid-2011, Al-Shabaab had also launched the Al-Kataib propaganda television station the year before. The channel’s pilot program aired the confessions of Ahmed Kisi, an alleged CIA spy who had been executed earlier in the week.[130]

In addition, Al-Shabaab is also using music to influence and appeal to their young followers. According to Robin Wright, “by 2010, almost eight out of every ten soldiers in Somalia’s many rebel forces were children”, which are especially influenced and susceptible messages conveyed to modern, western-themed music.[131] One of Al Shabaab’s foreign-born leaders, American Omar Hammami aka Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki, gained notoriety after an April 2009 video of him rapping about jihad.[132] Hammami’s most recent song, “Send Me a Cruise”, debuted online on April 9, 2011.[127]

In October 2013 Al-Shabaab issued a propaganda video targeting several British Muslims who had spoken out against Islamist extremism, some of them explicitly against the murder of Lee Rigby.[133] The video urged jihadists in the UK to follow the example of Rigby’s killers, to arm themselves if necessary with knives from B&Q.[133] The Muslims named in the video for “selling out”[134] included Mohammed Shafiq, Mohammed Ansar, Usama Hasan and Ajmal Masroor.[133]

In February 2015, Al-Shabaab released another propaganda video calling for attacks on shopping malls in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., including the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.[135] Although the group had hitherto only ever launched attacks within East Africa, security at both malls was tightened in response.[136] The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also indicated that there was no evidence of any imminent threat.[135]

Twitter account

On December 7, 2011, Al-Shabaab also reportedly began using the Twitter social media network. The move is believed to be an attempt by the group to counteract tweets by allied officials, and to serve as a venue for the dissemination of information on alleged casualties as well as a way to interact with the press.[137] The account, HSMPress, has attracted over eight thousand followers for its witty taunts of the KDF in general and its official spokesman, Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, with whom it has frequent exchanges, in particular.[138]

For example, after Chirchir upbraided the Shabaab for not letting women in the areas under their control wear bras, saying life had more to offer, HSMPress retorted “Like bombing donkeys, you mean!”, referring to a recent announcement by Chirchir that any large group of loaded donkeys would be considered a target. “Your eccentric battle strategy has got animal rights groups quite concerned, Major.”[139] Later, responding to Chirchir’s claim that Kismayo had been captured by the KDF, HSMPress said the Kenyan “boys are a grotesque parody of an army! They can outpace ur world-class runners by far. Indeed, they ‘Run like a Kenyan'”.[140] The account shows a less belligerent side with others, telling a UN official who queried “it is good when extremists or perceived extremists come out and talk[..] can we have a coffee with them too?” that “a caramel macchiato would do!”[141]

While it is not known for certain if the HSMPress account is sanctioned by the Shabaab, both Western and African Union officials believe that it is. It has relayed information about battle outcomes that has sometimes been more accurate than its opponents, and posted pictures of authentic identity cards of missing AMISOM peacekeepers that were presumably killed in combat. The account itself is operated by a man with the nom de guerre Sheik Yoonis, who has in the past responded to press questions during telephone interviews in a “clipped British accent”.[138]

Most of Al-Shabaab’s messages on Twitter are in English, with authorities suggesting that they are intended for an outside audience and potential recruits in the West. Officials in the United States, where Twitter is based, are exploring legal ways to terminate the account, although they acknowledge that doing so might raise free speech concerns.[142] Chirchir commented in a tweet of his own that such a move would be counterproductive, as “Al Shabaab needs to be engaged positively and twitter is the only avenue”.[143]

In January 2013, Twitter suspended Al-Shabaab’s English account.[144][145] This was apparently in response to the account having issued death threats against Frenchman “Denis Allex” and subsequently posted photos of his corpse after the botched Bulo Marer hostage rescue attempt, as well as tweeting threats to kill Kenyan hostages.[145][146] Al-Shabaab later opened a new Twitter account on February 4, 2013.[146] Twitter closed the account again on September 6, 2013 for unspecified reasons. A few days earlier, on September 3, the insurgent group had used the service to claim responsibility for an unsuccessful ambush attempt against a convoy carrying Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The militants also tweeted after the attack that the group had no other active Twitter feeds in English, and cautioned users against “parody accounts”. The insurgent group also messaged that “next time, you won’t be as lucky,” in apparent violation of Twitter’s user policies against issuing threats of violence and using the service for illicit purposes or activities. However, Al-Shabaab’s Arabic account remained open.[145] The group later relaunched its English Twitter account on September 11, 2013.[147]

In September 2013, Twitter suspended at least six Al-Shabaab accounts after the outfit ridiculed the Kenyan government’s response to the Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, an attack which Al-Shabaab had claimed responsibility for. The group later re-opened a Twitter account in December, with the explanation that “the aim is to vigorously challenge defamatory reports in the media by presenting an accurate portrayal of the current state of Jihad in Somalia and countering Western, state-sponsored propaganda machines that are paid to demonise the Mujahideen.” A Somali government spokesman stated that the Somali authorities were opposed to Al-Shabaab’s presence on the social media website, as the group “should not be given the platform to mislead the youth.”[148]

Drought[edit]

Following the 2011 Eastern Africa drought, Al Shabaab adapted its propaganda strategy to accommodate the changing circumstances. In some cases, group members employed humanitarian aid as a recruitment tool, using relief supplies as bribes and as an incentive to join the militants, whose numbers had decreased due to casualties and defections.[149] Group members dismissed the UN declaration of famine in various regions as grossly exaggerated and banned various organizations from providing aid to those regions.[150]

In response, the Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in July 2011 appointed a national committee to tackle the severe drought affecting the southern part of the country,[151] and the following month announced the creation of a new 300-man security force. Assisted by African Union peacekeepers, the military unit had as its primary goal to protect convoys and aid from the Al-Shabaab rebels, as well as to secure the IDP camps when the relief supplies are being distributed.[152]

Although fighting disrupted aid delivery in some areas, a scaling up of relief operations in mid-November prompted the UN to downgrade the humanitarian situation in several regions from famine to emergency levels. Humanitarian access to Al-Shabaab-controlled areas had also improved and rainfall had surpassed expectations, improving the prospects of a good harvest in early 2012.[153] In February 2012, the UN declares that Somalia has produced a bumper harvest, and that the famine is over.[154]

Operation Linda Nchi

The Somali National Army (SNA), Somali Police Force (SPF) and their allies have intensified security operations against Al-Shabaab.

Since the TFG-led Operation Linda Nchi between the Somalian National Army (SNA) and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) against Al-Shabaab militants in southern Somalia began,[155] Al Shabaab has been intensifying its propaganda effort – a signal perhaps that militant forces is growing desperate as it suffers heavy losses. Group members have started to diversify their tactics, engaging in various methods in order to demoralize the allied forces. According to the Associated Press, Al Shabaab has resorted to dressing up some of its own casualties in TFG and AU uniforms, although an African Union spokesman indicated that only two corpses of AU soldiers were unaccounted for. About half of the dead bodies were also visibly Somali, prompting eyewitnesses to suggest that they were fallen Somali government soldiers. The remainder were dressed in Burundi military uniforms and resembled non-Somali foreigners, with Al-Shabaab militants displaying a Bible and some crucifixes reportedly taken from the deceased.[156] Additionally, Al-Shabaab has been conducting militia parades as a show of force in cities such as Marka.[157]

As Al Shabaab is suffering heavy military losses, the effectiveness of their propaganda campaign to date is somewhat inconclusive. What is apparent, however, is that they are increasing their propaganda efforts without corresponding response from TFG, AMISOM and KDF forces. Al-Shabaab retreats from regions in southern Somalia and areas around Mogadishu are falsely heralded as tactical maneuvers by the militants who are facing defeat – while the allied forces remain largely muted on the success that they have made in the region.[158]

The propaganda techniques employed by Al-Shabaab show the stark contrast between militant forces and the conventional armies of AMISOM. While Shabaab forces act with impunity in regards to their guerrilla tactics, the allied forces are obligated to comply with articles of the Geneva Convention which require them to warn civilians of air raids and troop movements – oftentimes informing the very militants they intend to strike and leaving them unable to act when they observe flagrant militant activities.[159] According to Al-Jazeera, Al-Shabaab have also attempted to capitalize on the coordinated incursion by depicting itself as a resistance force fighting foreign occupiers and urged local residents to take up arms against the Kenyan soldiers.[160]

Merger with Al-Qaeda

On February 9, 2012, Mukhtar Abu al-Zubair ‘Godane’ announced in a fifteen-minute video message that Al-Shabaab would be joining the militant Islamist organization al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Zubair stated, “On behalf of the soldiers and the commanders in al-Shabaab, we pledge allegiance to you. So lead us to the path of jihad and martyrdom that was drawn by our imam, the martyr Osama.”[7] Al-Zawahiri approved and welcomed Al-Shabaab as al-Qaeda’s Somalia-based affiliate in a 15-minute video response, stating “Today, I have glad tidings for the Muslim Ummah that will please the believers and disturb the disbelievers, which is the joining of the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia to Qaeda al-Jihad, to support the jihadi unity against the Zio-Crusader campaign and their assistants amongst the treacherous agent rulers.”[161] The merger follows reports about a rift in the leadership,[162] and it coincides with reports about large factions breaking away from Al Shabaab,[163] and up to 500 Al Shabaab fighters fleeing or leaving southern Somalia for Yemen,[164] where a full Al Qaeda branch AQAP is stepping up operations, under perceived increased military pressure since a new president took office.[165] Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government officially recognized the two Islamist groups as one group.[166]

A poll conducted between 8–16 April 2012 by the international market research company YouGov examined the views of MENA region residents with regard to the news of the merger. The combined group evoked fear in most respondents, with 42% believing that the merger announcement ought to be a source of alarm for the international community; 23% of polltakers felt very strongly about this. 45% of respondents believed that the fusion of the two groups would enhance Al-Qaeda’s attempts at recruiting new operatives, with 12% indicating that the merger would strengthen the latter group’s capabilities and another 11% believing that it would result in more terrorist attacks on the continent. A further 55% of pollsters did not know how the Somalian leadership would respond to news of the merger, though 36% suggested that it would lead to more movements against Al-Shabaab by the Somalian military. 34% of respondents also indicated that announcement of the merger constituted a propaganda effort aimed at securing more coverage for the two Islamist groups, with 30% of polltakers believing that the decision to merge shows that both Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda are under duress.[167]

Internal rift

In response to Godane’s announced name change and merger with al-Qaeda, all other Shabaab top leaders called a conference in Baidabo.[168] They refused to adopt the new name (al-Qaeda in East Africa) and they agreed on a new policy, focusing entirely on domestic issues and with no mention any more of international struggle. One significant policy proposal was to form a national, independent Shura of Islamic clerics, which means also independent of al-Qaeda. With it, they seem to try to remove some obstacles for reaching an entente with their Sufi opponents, and to avoid getting targeted by US drones.[169][170] Aweys later declared that: “Al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda are merely a small part of the larger Islamic group and al-Qaeda’s ideology should not be viewed as the sole, righteous path for Islam.”[171]

This open revolt against al-Qaeda made it more likely that Al-Shabaab would slowly become ready for some sort of negotiated entente.[172] On February 23, 2012, while Shabaab was pushed out of several strongholds, Radio Magadishu reported that 120 al-Qaeda leaders and followers fled from Kismayo to Yemen.[173] Aweys was appointed military commander of Kismayo and the south.[174]

By 2013, the internal rifts within Al-Shabaab erupted into all-out warfare between Godane’s faction and those of other leaders in the organization. In late June, four senior Shabaab commanders were executed under the orders of Godane. One of these commanders was Ibrahim al-Afghani, who had complained about the leadership style of Godane in a letter to Ayman al-Zawahiri. Sixteen others were arrested, and Aweys fled.[175] He was later taken into custody in Mogadishu by Somali government forces.[176] On 12 September, Omar Hammami, who had left the group due to significant disagreements with Godane, was killed by Al-Shabaab forces. The Westgate shopping mall shooting in September was said by Simon Tisdall to be a reflection of the power struggle within the insurgent group, with Godane’s hardline global jihadi faction seeking to exert its authority.[177]

Collaboration with AQIM and Boko Haram

According to U.S. Army General Carter Ham, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Nigeria-based Boko Haram (BH) were as of June 2012 attempting to synchronize and coordinate their activities in terms of sharing funds, training and explosives.[178] Ham added that he believed that the collaboration presented a threat to both U.S. homeland security and the local authorities.[179] However, according to counter-terrorism specialist Rick Nelson with the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies, there was little evidence that the three groups were targeting U.S. areas, as each was primarily interested in establishing fundamentalist administrations in their respective regions.[178] In May 2014, Senior Al-Shabab member Fuad Shongole stated that al-Shabab fighters would carry out jihad, or holy war, in Kenya and Uganda “and afterward, with God’s will, to America.”[180]

Split with Hizbul Islam

On September 24, 2012, Hizbul Islam spokesman Mohamed Moallim announced that his group was discontinuing its association with Al-Shabaab, a group that he asserted his organization had only nominally united with. Moallim cited the significant political changes happening in Somalia as well as Al-Shabaab’s reported issuance of propaganda against Hizbul Islam as the primary reasons for his group’s decision to leave the coalition. He added that his organization did not share Al-Shabaab’s political philosophy, and that he felt the militant group had been considerably “weakened”. Moallim also indicated that Hizbul Islam was open to talks with any political actors in the country working for a common good.[181][182]

Bounties

In 2012, the United States government began a new policy of offering financial rewards in exchange for information as to the whereabouts of Al-Shabaab members. On June 7, the U.S. Department of State put forth an offer totaling $33 million for the capture of seven of Al-Shabaab’s senior commanders,[183] including a reported $3–$7 million (£2-£4.5 million) per leader.[15] $7 million of the total funds were set aside for information regarding the insurgent group’s Amir or Spiritual Leader, Ahmed Godane (Abu Zubayr), with another $5 million bounty on Al-Shabaab’s Deputy Leader, Mukhtar Robow (Abu Mansur).[183] Additionally, a $3 million bounty was reserved for the senior commander Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi.[121]

On June 8, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) released an official statement expressing support for the initiative.[183]

In response, senior Al-Shabaab commander Fu’ad Mohamed Khalaf (Sheikh Shongole) issued a mock offer of his own the same day, promising 10 camels to anyone possessing information on U.S. President Barack Obama. Shongole also mockingly offered a less valuable bounty of 10 cocks and 10 hens for information concerning American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.[183]

During an official state visit to Mogadishu, top U.S. envoy Johnnie Carson dismissed Al-Shabaab’s counter-offer as “absurd”. He also indicated that the American government would impose sanctions on anyone attempting to thwart the ongoing political process, including invoking visa and travel bans and freezing assets.[15]

On March 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of State announced another bounty of $5 million apiece for information on two American senior Al-Shabaab commanders, Abu Mansour al-Amriki (Omar Shafik Hammami) and Jehad Serwan Mostafa.[184]

On March 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of State also began offering bounties of up to $3 million apiece for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the Al-Shabaab senior members Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, Yasin Kilwe and Jafar. According to State Department officials, Abdikadir coordinates Al-Shabaab’s recruitment activities in Kenya, with Jafar acting as his deputy; Kilwe serves as Al-Shabaab’s Emir for the northeastern Puntland region. The bounties are part of the “Rewards for Justice” program, wherein money is issued for leads on terror suspects.[185]

On September 27, 2014, the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) offered a $2 million reward to any individual who provides information leading to the arrest of the new Al-Shabaab leader, Ahmed Omar Abu Ubeyda. According to the NISA Commander Abdirahman Mohamed Turyare, a separate $1 million would be rewarded to any person who supplies information that could result in the killing of Ubeyda. Turyare also pledged that the informers’ identities would be kept private. This is reportedly the first time that a Somalia security official is offering such large dead-or-alive bounties on an Al-Shabaab leader.[186]

On April 3, 2015, the Kenyan government offered a 20 million Kenyan shillings ($215,000) reward for the arrest of Mohamed Mohamud, who serves as a commander of Al-Shabaab operations in Kenya.[82]

On April 10, 2015, the Federal Government of Somalia offered a $250,000 reward for the capture of Al-Shabaab commander Ahmed Diriye. It also placed bounties of between $100,000 to $150,000 for information on the whereabouts or leading to the arrest of several other of the militant group’s leaders, including Mahad Warsame Galay (Mahad Karate), Ali Mohamed Raage (Ali Dhere), Abdullahi Abdi (Daud Suheyb), Mohamed Mohamud Noor “Sultan”, Ali Mohamed Hussein (Ali Jeesto), Mohamed Mohamud (Gama-Dhere), Hassan Mohamed Afgoye, Mohamed Abdi Muse Mohamed, Yasin Osman Kilwa and Abdullahi Osman. Additionally, the federal government indicated that any leads forwarded to it vis-a-vis the wanted insurgent commanders would be kept strictly confidential.[187]

 

Eritrea

In December 2009, the United Nations Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea, accusing the Horn of Africa country of arming and providing financial aid to militia groups in southern Somalia’s conflict zones, including al-Shabaab.[188] Plane loads of weapons said to be coming from Eritrea were sent to anti-government rebels in southern Somalia. AU peacekeepers also reportedly captured some Eritrean soldiers and prisoners of war.[189][190] In 2010, the UN International Monitoring Group (IMG) also published a report charging the Eritrean government of continuing to offer support to rebel groups in southern Somalia, despite the sanctions already placed on the nation. The Eritrean administration emphatically denied the accusations, describing them as “concocted, baseless and unfounded” and demanding concrete evidence to be made publicly available, with an independent platform through which it may in turn issue a response.[188] In November 2011 the UN Monitoring Group repeated claims that Eritrea would support al-Shabaab. The report says that Eritrea gives US$80,000 each month to al-Shabaab linked individuals in Nairobi.[191]

On July 5, 2012 the Obama administration announced sanctions on Eritrea’s intelligence chief and on a high-ranking military officer related to allegations of their support of Al-Shabaab. Col. Tewolde Habte Negash is accused of providing training and support while Col. Taeme Abraham Goitom is alleged to organize armed opposition to the Somalian government. The sanctions freeze any of the individual’s U.S. assets and prohibits Americans from conducting business with them.[192] On July 16, 2012, a United Nations Monitoring Group report stated that “it had found no evidence of direct Eritrean support for al Shabaab in the past year.”[193]

Somaliland

In 2010, reports surfaced linking the secessionist government of the northwestern Somaliland region with the Islamist extremists that are currently waging war against the Transitional Federal Government and its African Union allies. The International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) published several reports shortly after the 2010 presidential elections in Somaliland, accusing the enclave’s newly elected president Ahmed M. Mahamoud Silanyo of having strong ties with Islamist groups, and suggesting that his political party Kulmiye won the election in large part due to support from a broad-based network of Islamists, including al-Shabaab.[194] The ISSA also described Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gaboose, Somaliland’s new Interior Minister, as an Islamist with “strong personal connections with al-Shabaab”, and predicted that the militant group would consequently be empowered.[195]

In January 2011, Puntland accused Somaliland of providing a safe haven for Mohamed Said Atom, an arms smuggler believed to be allied with al-Shabaab. Somaliland strenuously denied the charges, calling them a smokescreen to divert attention from Puntland’s own activities.

Atom and his men were reportedly hiding out and receiving medical attention in Somaliland after being pursued by Puntland forces in late 2010.[196] The Puntland Intelligence Agency also claimed that over 70 Somaliland soldiers had fought alongside Atom’s militiamen, including one known intelligence official who died in battle.[197] Somaliland media reported in January that Atom’s representative requested military assistance from the Somaliland authorities, and that he denied that Atom’s militia was linked to al-Shabaab.[198]

Puntland government documents claim that Atom’s militia were used as proxy agents in 2006. They accuse Somaliland of offering financial and military assistance to destabilize Puntland and distract attention from attempts to occupy the disputed Sool province.[196]

British Jihadists – Jihad John – From British Schoolboy to ISIS Killer

Jihadi John

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34805924

‘Jihadi John’: US air strike targets Islamic State militant in Syria

US forces have carried out an air strike targeting the Islamic State group militant “Jihadi John”, with a “high degree of certainty” he was hit.

Mohammed Emwazi, the Kuwaiti-born British militant, appeared in videos of the beheadings of Western hostages.

It is believed there was at least one other person in the vehicle targeted in the attack near Raqqa, in Syria.

The UK government said it was “working hand in glove with the Americans” to “hunt down those murdering hostages”.

A US official told the BBC Emwazi had been “tracked carefully over a period of time”.

Another senior military source said there was a “high degree of certainty” he had been killed, while another source said: “It was a great hit.”

Who is Mohammed Emwazi?

‘Jihadi John’ movement mapped

Emwazi ‘claimed harassment’

A drone was used in the attack, according to a US official quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

A formal statement from the Pentagon stopped short of asserting that Emwazi had definitely been killed, adding that it was assessing the operation.

Prime Minister David Cameron is due to make a statement later on Friday.

“The prime minister has said before that tracking down these brutal murderers was a top priority,” a spokesperson said.


Analysis

by Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent

As the militant who sadistically murdered Western aid workers and journalists on camera, Mohammed Emwazi became a top target for US and British intelligence agencies, even though he is thought to have played no military role within Islamic State.

After his identity was revealed in February, Emwazi largely stayed out of sight, taking particular care not to leave a digital trail to his whereabouts.

But GCHQ, the UK government’s communications headquarters, has expended enormous efforts to intercept and decipher any encrypted messages that might reveal his location or those of his associates.


Emwazi is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013 and later joined IS militants.

He first appeared in a video in August last year, when footage was posted online showing the murder of US journalist James Foley.

He was later pictured in the videos of the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines and UK taxi driver Alan Henning, as well as American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

He was also seen apparently killing a Syrian soldier during a mass beheading of Syrian troops.

In each of the videos, the militant appeared dressed in a black robe with a black balaclava covering his face.

Initially dubbed “Jihadi John” by the media, he was subsequently named as Emwazi, from west London, in February.


Mohammed Emwazi

Mohammed Emwazi
  • 1988: Born in Kuwait, moves to UK in 1994
  • 2009: Completes computing degree at University of Westminster
  • 2013: Tries to travel to Kuwait but is stopped. Disappears. Parents report him missing. Police tell family four months later he has entered Syria

Source: Cage, London-based campaign group


Earlier this year, details emerged about how Emwazi made a number of journeys abroad before he left for Syria in 2013.

They included a trip to Tanzania in August 2009, when he is believed to have first became known to security services in the UK.

His naming this year led to a row over the cause of his radicalisation, with British advocacy group Cage suggesting that contact with MI5 may have contributed to it.

However, Downing Street said that suggestion was “completely reprehensible”, with Mr Cameron defending the UK’s security services.

Civil war erupted in Syria four years ago, and now President Bashar al-Assad’s government, IS, an array of Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters all hold territory. Millions have been displaced and more than 250,000 people killed as a result of the fighting.

IS aims to establish a caliphate over the entire Muslim world, a state ruled by a single political and religious leader according to Islamic law, or Sharia. It already hold control of swathes of land in Syria and Iraq.

The militant group said it was behind twin suicide bombings in the Lebanese capital Beirut that killed at least 41 people on Thursday.

Kurdish forces have meanwhile entered the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar captured by IS last year, while the Iraqi army says it has begun an offensive to retake the key western city of Ramadi.

At least 700 people from the UK have travelled to support or fight for jihadist organisations in Syria and Iraq, British police say.

Security analyst Charlie Winter said that if Emwazi’s death was confirmed, it could affect those wanting to join Islamic State “out of a sense of adventure”.

He added: “They want to go and find a collective group where they can be part of something bigger. But they also don’t want to die.”


Mohammed Emwazi’s movements before heading to Syria

Map showing 'Jihadi John's' movements ahead of his travel to Syria
  • 1. Aug 2009, refused entry to Tanzania: travels to Tanzania with two friends, but is refused entry at Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian police have denied Emwazi’s name is on their database of suspected foreign criminals detained and deported in 2009, as he had claimed. Emwazi and his friends are put on flight to Amsterdam, where they are questioned. They return to Dover and are questioned again.
  • 2. Sept 2009, travels to Kuwait for work: leaves the UK for Kuwait for work.
  • 3. May/June 2010, returns to UK for holiday: he returns to the UK for an eight-day visit.
  • 4. July 2010, refused re-entry to Kuwait: Emwazi returns to the UK once more for a couple of days. He is stopped at Heathrow on his return to Kuwait and told he cannot travel as his visa has expired.
  • 5. 2013, travels to Syria: Emwazi attempts to travel to Kuwait but is stopped and questioned. Three days later, he heads abroad. Police later inform his family he has travelled to Syria.

See BBC News for full story

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Video shows ‘Jihadi John’ as a teenager

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Jihadi John.jpg

Emwazi wearing a mask in a video of a killing
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Hear the voice of ‘Jihadi John’ before ISIS
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Born Mohammed Emwazi
(1988-08-17) 17 August 1988 (age 27)[1]
Al Jahra, Kuwait[2]

Nationality

British[3]

Other names

“Jihadi John”[4]
“John the Beatle”[5]
“Jailer John”[6]
Abu Abdullah al-Britani[7]
Abu Muharib al-Yemeni[8]
Mohammed al-Ayan[9]
Muhammad ibn Muazzam[10]

Mohammed Al-Zuhary[11]

Education BSc (lower second-class honours) in Information Systems with Business Management from the University of Westminster (2009)[12][13]
Known for Involvement in multiple beheadings
Religion Sunni Islam
Military career
Allegiance Al-Nusra Front,[8] then
ISIL[8]
Years of service 2013–present[14]
Battles/wars Syria

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Jihadi John Face Revealed in ISIS Video

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Mohammed Emwazi (born Muhammad Jassim Abdulkarim Olayan al-Dhafiri, 17 August 1988) is a Kuwaiti-British man who is thought to be the person seen in several videos produced by the Islamic extremist group ISIL showing the beheadings of a number of captives in 2014 and 2015. A group of his hostages nicknamed him “Jihadi John” since he was part of a four-person terrorist cell with British accents whom they called “The Beatles”.

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‘Jihadi John’ Now the Most Wanted Man In the World

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Early life

Emwazi was born Muhammad Jassim Abdulkarim Olayan al-Dhafiri[15] on 17 August 1988 in Kuwait[1] to Jassem and Ghaneyah.[14] The family, who were Bedoon of Iraqi origin,[14] moved to the United Kingdom in 1994 when he was six.[16] They settled in inner west London, moving between several properties in Maida Vale,[17] later living in St John’s Wood and finally in Queen’s Park.[17][18] Emwazi attended St Mary Magdalene Church of England primary school, and later Quintin Kynaston School.[3]

In 2006 he went to the University of Westminster, studying Information Systems with Business Management. He secured a lower second-class BSc (Hons) on graduation three years later.[3] At age 21, he worked as a salesman at an IT company in Kuwait and was considered by his boss as the best employee the company ever had.[14]

Nicknames

Emwazi was given the nickname “John” by a group of his hostages. The hostages said that he was part of a terrorist cell they called “The Beatles“, and that he guarded Western hostages while handling communications with their families. The nickname refers to John Lennon of the Beatles, and other members of the cell are known as “George”, “Paul”, and “Ringo”, in reference to the other Beatles. The cell members all had British accents.[19] The nicknames “Jihadi John”, “Jailer John” and “John the Beatle” were created by the press.[4]

Ringo Starr expressed his disgust at the use of his former band’s name in this context, saying: “It’s bullshit. What they are doing out there is against everything the Beatles stood for,” saying that the Beatles had stood for peace and opposed violence.[20]

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Jihadi John Apologizes to His Family – but for Beheading Hostages

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Victims

Following are reported victims of Jihadi John.

James Foley

20A9C8F700000578-3007828-His_first_victim_American_journalist_James_Foley_was_the_first_W-a-75_1427123820572

In a video uploaded to YouTube on 19 August 2014, Foley read a prepared statement criticizing the United States, the recent airstrikes in Iraq, and his brother who serves in the United States Air Force.[21] Emwazi, wearing a mask, also read a prepared statement in which he criticized America and President Barack Obama and made demands to cease the 2014 American-led intervention in Iraq.[21] The masked man then beheaded Foley off-camera, after which he threatened to behead Steven Sotloff if his demands were not met. The FBI and United States National Security Council confirmed that the video, which included footage of Foley’s beheaded corpse, was genuine.[21]

Steven Sotloff

Main article: Steven Sotloff

On 2 September 2014, a video was released reportedly showing American journalist Steven Sotloff‘s beheading by Emwazi.[22] The White House confirmed the video’s authenticity.[23]

David Haines

On 13 September 2014, a video, directed at British Prime Minister David Cameron, was released, showing British hostage aid worker David Haines being beheaded by Emwazi.[24]

Alan Henning

Main article: Alan Henning

On 3 October 2014, a video released by ISIS showing Emwazi beheading British aid worker Alan Henning. Henning, a taxi driver from Salford, Greater Manchester, had volunteered to deliver aid to Syria when he was kidnapped in Ad Dana, an area held by ISIS, on 27 December 2013.[25][26]

Peter Kassig

See also: Peter Kassig

On 16 November 2014 a video was posted by ISIS of Emwazi standing over a severed head, which the White House confirmed was that of Peter Kassig.[27] Kassig’s actual beheading was not shown, and unlike earlier hostage beheading videos he did not make a statement.

Syrian soldiers

The video that ended with a shot of Kassig’s severed head showed the beheadings of 21 Syrian soldiers in gruesome detail, by a group led by a masked Emwazi. It was said by the BBC that, unlike previous videos, this one shows the faces of many of the militants, indicates the location as being Dabiq in Aleppo Province, and that this video “revels in gore.” Unlike previous videos that cut away without showing the killing, Emwazi is shown beheading a victim.[28]

Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto

Main articles: Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa

Haruna Yukawa, age 42, was captured sometime before August 2014. Kenji Goto, age 47, was captured sometime in October 2014 while trying to rescue Yukawa. In January 2015, they were threatened to be killed unless the Japanese government paid a ransom of $200 million.[29] Haruna was beheaded on 24 January, and Kenji on 31 January 2015.[30]

Hostages

It was claimed in August 2014 that ISIS held more than 20 hostages.[31] Many hostage families chose not to reveal their relatives’ names in order to avoid drawing attention to them and compromising their safety.[citation needed] All or nearly all of the Europeans were ransomed by their countries. However, laws in the US and the UK prohibit payment of ransoms.[32]

John Cantlie

Main article: John Cantlie

Cantlie is a British citizen held hostage who has appeared in a series of ISIL videos. He was kidnapped along with James Foley on 22 November 2012.

Analysis of videos

Official analysis

Officially the FBI and United States National Security Council confirmed that the James Foley video, which ended with footage of a beheaded corpse, was genuine.[21] David Cameron and the British Foreign Office also confirmed the authenticity of the video showing the death of David Haines.[33]

The videos were produced and distributed by Al Hayat Media Center, a media outlet of ISIS that is under the authority of the ISIS’s official propaganda arm, the Al-Itisam Establishment for Media Production, that targets specifically Western and non-Arabic speaking audiences.[34]

Unofficial analysis

An unnamed forensics expert commissioned by The Times to look at the James Foley video said “I think it has been staged. My feeling is that the murder may have happened after the camera was stopped.” The Times concluded that “No one is questioning that the photojournalist James Foley was beheaded, but camera trickery and slick post-production techniques appear to have been used.”[35] Two unnamed video specialists in the International Business Times of Australia claimed that portions of the video appeared to be staged and edited.[36] Dr. James Alvarez, a British-American hostage negotiator, also claimed the James Foley video was “expertly staged”, with the use of two separate cameras and a clip-on microphone attached to Foley’s orange jumpsuit.[21] Jeff Smith, Associate Director of the CU Denver National Center for Media Forensics, said “What’s most interesting is that the actual beheading that takes place in the videos, both of them are staged.”[37]

British analyst Eliot Higgins (Brown Moses) published photographic and video forensic evidence suggesting that the James Foley video was taken at a spot in the hills south of the Syrian city of Raqqa.[38][39][40]

Identification and manhunt

 

‘Jihadi John’ became the subject of a manhunt by the FBI, MI5, and Scotland Yard.[41][42][43] In his videos, “Jihadi John” concealed his identity by covering himself from head to toe in black, except for tan desert boots, with a mask that left only his eyes visible.[41] Despite this, several facts about ‘Jihadi John’ could be ascertained from both videos. He spoke with an apparent London or southern England accent[41] and appeared to have a skin tone consistent with African or South Asian descent.[21] In both videos, he was seen to sport a pistol in a leather shoulder holster under his left shoulder, typical of right-handed people,[44] but his actions in the videos suggest he is left-handed.[45]

Other factors that could have led to his identification were his height, general physique, the pattern of veins on the back of his hands,[21] his voice and clothes.[21][41] A team of analysts might use the topography of the landscape in the video in an attempt to identify the location.[21] On 24 August 2014, the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Peter Westmacott, said that Britain was very close to identifying ‘Jihadi John’ using sophisticated voice recognition technology,[46] but when pressed, refused to disclose any other details.[47]

On 20 September 2014, the United States Senate approved a $10 million reward for information that led to the capture of anyone involved in the murders of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Cawthorne Haines, which includes ‘Jihadi John’.[48] On November 20, the bill, extending the potential scope of the reward program to any American kidnapped and murdered by a “foreign terrorist organization” and limiting the reward to a maximum of $5 million, was referred to the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs.[49]

On 14 September British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that the identity of ‘Jihadi John’ was known but had yet to be revealed.[50]

On 25 September, FBI Director James Comey told reporters that they had identified the suspect, but did not give information regarding the man’s identity or nationality.[51] “I believe that we have identified him. I’m not going to tell you who I believe it is,” Comey stated.[52] Michael Ryan, an author and scholar from the Middle East Institute speculated “Maybe 98 percent of 95 percent sure is not sure enough to put a man’s name out.”[51]

In August 2014, The Sunday Times reported that Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary (“L Jinny”), 23, a hip-hop musician from West London had “emerged as a key suspect” in the investigation.[53][54] Other sources also stated that Abu Hussain Al-Britani, 20, a computer hacker from Birmingham and Abu Abdullah al-Britani, in his 20s from Portsmouth, were suspects.[54][55]

Mohammed Emwazi

On 26 February 2015, The Washington Post identified the perpetrator as Mohammed Emwazi, a British man then in his mid-20s who was born in Kuwait and grew up in west London.[56][57][58] The Washington Post investigation was undertaken by Souad Mekhennet and Alan Goldman.[56]

Emwazi was born to Iraqi parents who moved to neighboring Kuwait from Iraq. When the Kuwaiti government rejected their application for citizenship, in 1994 they moved to Iraq and then on to Britain.[59] According to his student card from the University of Westminster, Emwazi was born on 17 August 1988.[1]

Scotland Yard and 10 Downing Street declined to comment on the reports.[60] The Counter Terrorism Command of the Metropolitan Police Service released a statement saying: “We are not going to confirm the identity of anyone at this stage or give an update on the progress of this live counter-terrorism investigation.”[61] The security services in the US and UK are believed to have known the identity of ‘Jihadi John’ since September 2014, but have not revealed the name for operational security reasons.[57]

In an interview with The Washington Post, one of Emwazi’s close friends said: “I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John. He was like a brother to me. … I am sure it is him.” Asim Qureshi, research director at the advocacy group CAGE, who had been in contact with Emwazi before he left for Syria, also identified the man in the videos as Emwazi, stating: “There was an extremely strong resemblance. This is making me feel fairly certain that this is the same person.” U.S. officials declined to comment for the Washington Post report, and Emwazi’s family declined a request for an interview.[56] Qureshi said that Emwazi was “extremely kind, gentle and soft-spoken, the most humble young person I knew”.[57]

The BBC stated that Emwazi is believed to be “an associate of a former UK control order suspect … who travelled to Somalia in 2006 and is allegedly linked to a facilitation and funding network for Somali militant group al-Shabab.”[57] He reportedly prayed on occasion at a mosque in Greenwich.[56] He graduated with a degree in Information Systems with Business Management from the University of Westminster (2009).[12] His final address in the UK before he went abroad was in the Queen’s Park area of north-west London.[16]

The Post reported interviews with Emwazi’s friends indicating that Emwazi was radicalized after a planned safari to Tanzania following his graduation. According to the interviews, Emwazi and two friends, a German convert to Islam named Omar and another man, Abu Talib, never made the safari. Rather, upon landing in Dar es Salaam in May 2009, the three were detained, held overnight by police, and eventually deported. In May 2010, The Independent reported on the episode, identifying Emwazi as Muhammad ibn Muazzam. According to e-mails sent by Emwazi to Qureshi and that were provided to the Post, after leaving Tanzania, Emwazi flew to Amsterdam, where he claimed that an MI5 officer accused him of attempting to go to Somalia, where al-Shabab operates. Emwazi denied attempting to reach Somalia, but a former hostage told the Post that “Jihadi John was obsessed with Somalia” and forced captives to watch videos about al-Shabab.[56] Tanzanian officials have denied that they detained and deported Emwazi at the request of MI5, saying instead that he had been refused entry for being drunk and abusive.[62]

Later, Emwazi and his friends were permitted to return to Britain, where Emwazi met with Qureshi in late 2009. The Post quoted Qureshi as saying that Emwazi was “incensed” at the way he had been treated. Emwazi moved to Kuwait shortly afterward, where (according to emails he wrote to Qureshi), he worked for a computer company. Emwazi returned to London twice, however, and, on the second visit, he made plans to wed a woman in Kuwait.[56]

In June 2010, Emwazi was detained by counter-terrorism officials in Britain, who searched and fingerprinted him, and blocked him from returning to Kuwait. In an email four months later to Qureshi, Emwazi expressed sympathy for Aafia Siddiqui, an al-Qaeda operative who had just been sentenced in U.S. federal court for assault and attempted murder. Qureshi said he last heard from Emwazi when Emwazi sought advice from him in January 2012. Close friends of Emwazi interviewed by the Post said that he was “desperate to leave the country” and one friend stated that Emwazi unsuccessfully tried to travel to Saudi Arabia to teach English in 2012. Sometime after January 2012, Emwazi traveled to Syria, where he apparently contacted his family and at least one of his friends.[56]

In March 2015, following media reports that his mother had recognised Jihadi John’s voice as her son’s,[63] his father denied that this had happened or that Emwazi was Jihadi John.[64]

Reactions

US President Barack Obama condemned the actions of ‘Jihadi John’ and vowed punishment for all the militants responsible behind the videotaped beheadings.[65] Secretary of State John Kerry also called ‘Jihadi John’ a “coward behind a mask” and, echoing Obama, stated that all those responsible would be held accountable by the United States.[65] British officials have also reiterated their commitment to capturing ‘Jihadi John’. Admiral Alan West, a former UK Minister for Security and Counter-terrorism, said that he is a “dead man walking” who will be “hunted down” like Osama bin Laden.[66] David Cameron also stated that he was absolutely certain that Jihadi John would “one way or another, face justice”, he also condemned the actions.[67][68] UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, and Secretary General of Interpol Ronald Noble also stated that Jihadi John should be brought to justice.[69]

Reacting to the naming of Emwazi by the media, a spokesman for the family of Steven Sotloff told the BBC that they wanted to see him behind bars.[70] Bethany Haines, daughter of David, said “It’s a good step but I think all the families will feel closure and relief once there’s a bullet between his eyes.”[71]

Lord Carlisle, a former independent reviewer of UK anti-terror laws, said, “Had control orders been in place, in my view there is a realistic prospect that Mohammed Emwazi, and at least two of his associates, would have been the subject of control orders with a compulsory relocation.”[72]

In reaction to the revelation, Emwazi’s father, Jassem, has said that he is ashamed of his son. Previously, when he learned from his son that he was going to Syria “for jihad“, Jassem had told him that he hoped he would be killed.[73] But the day after the naming he issued a statement denying that his son was Jihadi John.[64] An unidentified cousin issued a statement which said, “We hate him. We hope he will be killed soon. This will be good news for our family.”[74]

On 8 March 2015, according to The Sunday Times, Emwazi apologised to his family for “problems and trouble the revelation of his identity has caused” them. The message was conveyed via an unspecified third party.[75]

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Marked out for Death:

By

Jihad John

Original story by The Daily Mail

  • Hostage reveals chilling moment Jihadi John drew sword on face of captive to brand him for beheading
  • Marc Marginedas, 46, was held by ISIS militants for six months last year
  • He says he was guarded by three men who spoke with British accents
  • Group nicknamed The Beatles because they regularly ‘beat’ prisoners
  • Jihadi John – later identified as Mohammed Emwazi – was the gang leader
  • He would draw on the prisoners heads with a red pen to mark out who he next planned to brutally execute in a filmed beheading
  • When his pencil was blunt he would scratch a cross into next victim’s head

Islamic State torturer-in-chief Jihadi John scratched the outline of a sword on the face of one of his victims in order to signify that he was to be beheaded, according to an account by a hostage held by the terrorist group. Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, 46, who was released a year ago, says he and 18 other hostages were guarded by three terrorists, who all spoke with British accents.

And he reveals that they named them the ‘Beatles’ because they liked ‘beating’ people, not simply because they were British.

The leader of the group, who came to be known as Jihadi John and has since been identified as Kuwaiti-born Londoner Mohammed Emwazi, went on to behead five hostages. The hostages were eventually taken to a prison in Raqqa, northern Syria, where the ‘Beatles’ had a room next to the prisoners, separated only by a broken glass door and a curtain. Mr Marginedas said the three masked ‘Beatles’ liked to burst into their cell shouting and threatening the prisoners, and always ended up ‘beating’ at least one of the hostages.

Telling his story: Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, 46, who was released by ISIS a year ago, says he and 18 other hostages were guarded by three terrorists, who all spoke with British accents
Telling his story: Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, 46, who was released by ISIS a year ago, says he and 18 other hostages were guarded by three terrorists, who all spoke with British accents

Prisoner: Marc Marginedas, a seasoned war reporter – was held for six months by Islamic State terrorists

On one occasion he recalls how Jihadi John carried out a savage beating of one of the hostages who had been told to approach the door.

Recalls Mr Marginedas: ‘Once in position, [Jihadi John] took a red pen and began to draw a sword on the [unnamed] hostage’s face, letting him know, in this macabre he would end his days in Syria, beheaded.’

‘The pen tip broke before he finished the sketch, but Jihadi John wanted to finish his work with the rest of sharpened pencil, already cut almost like a knife, tearing the skin of the cheek with a vengeance, and leaving for the following days a visible wound in the face, outlined by the scar.’

Mr Marginedas also claims that the Beatles were only put in charge of the prisoners because Islamic State commanders couldn’t spare hardened fighters from the battlefield.

And he believes this may have been a source of a grievance to them which only served to fuel their cruelty.

Mr Marginedas was captured on the 4th of September 2013 by rebel jihadists, close to the city of Hama, in Western Syria. He had entered the country three days before, through Turkey; accompanied by members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). According to Mr Marginedas, Jihadi John was a ‘manic-depressive’, similar to that of a serial killer so often depicted in films

Ill-treated: Marc Marginedas said the three masked 'Beatles' liked to burst into their cell shouting and threatening the prisoners, and always ended up 'beating' at least one of the hostages
Ill-treated: Marc Marginedas said the three masked ‘Beatles’ liked to burst into their cell shouting and threatening the prisoners, and always ended up ‘beating’ at least one of the hostages

Another Spanish journalist, released shortly after Mr Marginedas, has told how the prisoners had to wear orange jumpsuits and had to memorise in Arabic a number written on their back.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Javier Espinosa, described how Emwazi squeezed maximum drama out of the torture and intimidation of the hostages. Espinosa, a journalist for Spanish newspaper El Mundo, said Emwazi liked to carry an antique metre-long sword with a silver handle, of the kind Muslim armies used in the Middle Ages. After enduring a mock execution at the hands of Jihadi John, Mr Espinosa said ‘that encounter confirmed the psychopathic character of my interlocutors.’

Emwazi was among ‘psychotic’ extremists who pillaged the Spaniard’s belongings to put towards a haul of stolen cash apparently so large there were rooms filled with millions of dollars. It was, he continued, one of ‘several episodes of psychological and physical torture, privations and humiliations’ prisoners endured.

Story: Pictured right is Javier Espinosa, a Spanish journalist who was held along with his colleague Ricardo Garcia Vilanova (left) by ISIS between December 2013 and March last year. Espinosa, described how Emwazi squeezed maximum drama out of the torture and intimidation of the hostages
Pictured is Javier Espinosa, a Spanish journalist who was held along with his colleague Ricardo Garcia Vilanova (left) by ISIS between December 2013 and March last year. Espinosa, described how Emwazi squeezed maximum drama out of the torture and intimidation of the hostages

Mr Espinosa was snatched with his colleague photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova when the pair were working near the Turkish border in 2013.

Alongside American journalists and aid workers including Britons Alan Henning and David Haines, they were locked in ISIS prisons – as Mr Espinosa describes them as ‘elegant mansions’ and the former government headquarters in Raqqa – across the war-ravaged country for months.

Being woken by the screams of other hostages as they were tortured in their cells was commonplace. On one occasion, the Spaniard notes, a young boy was beaten to a pulp after being caught smoking – a forbidden habit under oppressive Sharia law.

The European and American hostages who disappeared had been either freed or moved, Mr Espinosa claims to have been told. Instead they were being picked off one by own, their deaths showcased to the world in barbaric propaganda videos.

Mr Marginedas recounts an incident in February last year when Jihadi John visited the hostages and claimed that he had been wounded in combat:

‘Once, on a February evening, he appeared in the room and began walking in circles to the silent hostages. He seemed limp, and claimed that he had been wounded in combat during the day.

‘He said “I wonder what you would do to me if you were in my position,” hinting that he was aware of the suffering being imposed on innocent and the desire for revenge that may be raising his performance.’

Mr Marginedas says the jihadists’ evil cruelty is further demonstrated by another episode in which the ‘Beatles’ gave the leftovers of their food to half the starving hostages while the remaining hostages were ordered to watch their fellow prisoners eating. This, he says, was designed to sow bad feeling among the prisoners – which it did, with recriminations against those who had played the Beatles’ game by eating the food.

Freed: The moment journalist Javier Espinosa was reunited with his son on the tarmac of a Spanish airport after spending months in captivity, held by ISIS terrorists
Freed: The moment journalist Javier Espinosa was reunited with his son on the tarmac of a Spanish airport after spending months in captivity, held by ISIS terrorists

Mr Marginedas was one of the first of the 19 hostages from 11 different countries to be released by IS. He recalls how Jihadi John first told him the good news: ‘Marcos, Marcos [is the name on my passport], are you ready to go? ‘ , he asked in a quiet, mellow voice.

“Yeah, I replied, instinctively looked up by the surprise news that was giving me and forgetting that when we spoke to the ‘Beatles’ I had to keep my eyes focused on the ground, fearing that we might end up identifying these three masked by eye.

‘”Do not look at the eyes!”, he shouted, lifting his hand.

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Read more:

Former ISIS hostage says ‘Jihadi John’ beat him, forced him to dance Tango

Full Story Foxnews

Jihadi John file.jpg
Brit Mohammed Emwazi aka “Jihadi John,” A Danish photographer who endured months of torture at the hands of ISIS says “Jihadi John” forced him to stand for days and dance the Tango at a prison in Syria. (REUTERS)

A Danish photographer who endured months of torture at the hands of Islamic State extremists says the terrorist killer known as “Jihadi John” forced him to stand for days and dance the Tango at a prison in Syria.

Daniel Rye Ottosen, 26– the last ISIS hostage to be released alive last June– revealed details about his experience in captivity in an interview Sunday with Denmark radio network DR.

The identity of “Jihadi John”– the British terrorist infamous for beheading at least 4 hostages—became public last spring. Mohammed Emwazi, 26, was born in Kuwait, raised in London, and graduated from Westminster University before going to Syria in 2013 to fight with ISIS.

He has become the face of several gruesome propaganda videos— wearing a mask and all black, and wielding a knife before decapitating high profile hostages captured by ISIS terrorists.

Ottosen– a freelance photographer from Odense, Denmark —says after being captured, Emwazi forced him into a degrading dance that ended in a brutal beating, Britain’s Telegraph reported Monday.

“‘Do you want to dance?'” he remembers Emwazi asking. “Then he took me up, and we were supposed to dance the Tango together, John and I.”

Days of beatings and torture taught Ottosen and his fellow hostages not to engage with their captors. “At that point, I just looked down at the ground the whole time because I did not want to look at them – if you looked them in the eye you would just get beaten even more.”

“So I had my head down and my arms up and he led me around the prison and then suddenly it just changed and he threw me down and kicked and hit me,” Ottosen said.

“Then they ended by threatening to cut my nose off with side-cutting pliers and such things,” Ottosen added.

Ottosen said that after his arrest he was repeatedly tortured for about two weeks in a cell in Aleppo, as the rebels tried to force him to confess to being a CIA spy.

Emwazi first appeared in an ISIS video in 2014, when he beheaded American freelance journalist James Foley. He later appeared in videos showing the beheadings of American journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning, and American aid worker Peter Kassig.

“They were very good at torturing. They were well aware of the where the limits lay,” Ottosen said. The most brutal torture involved being forced to stand for days on end.

“One of the tricks they used with me was to hang me up from the ceiling with my arms over my head and my hands handcuffed, hanging from a chain. I could stand with both of my feet on the ground but they left me there for an entire day,”Ottosen recalled.

The unending torture was so agonizing that when the extremists threatened to extend it for another three days, Ottosen broke down and tried unsuccessfully to take his own life to escape.

“I decided that I didn’t want to be a part of this world anymore,” he told DR. “So I took that chain around my neck and actually secured it with my little finger so that it couldn’t just loosen and then I hopped and tried to take my own life.”

Later, he was held in a children’s hospital with Foley. The two would do exercises in their cells to build strength and morale. “James was not so strong with his motor skills so I taught him to stand on one leg with closed eyes,” he remembers.

“We did some partner exercises where you lean against each other and then stand up. Some very basic things, but something that is difficult when you have no energy and when one’s muscles have basically disappeared.”

Ottosen was released in June last year after his family paid a 1.5 million pounds or $3.2 million to ISIS. Much of the ransom came from a Facebook fundraising campaign mounted by Ottomen’s sister, Anita Rye Ottosen.

The payment has been controversial, as Emwazi in the following months went on to behead Ottoman’s fellow captives. Both the American and British governments forbade the hostages’ families from giving in to ISIS demands.

Ottosen is still working through the psychological and physical trauma he experienced in the clutches of ISIS. He has only recently begun to work again as a photographer, after more than a year of healing. He has recounted his ordeal in a new book being released in Denmark Tuesday.

See Sally Anne Jones

See Shamima Begum

See  Kadiza Sultana

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

British Jihadists – Shamima Begum – She Devil

British Jihadists

Shamima Begum

Age when left UK: 15 Home town: London

See Sally Anne Jones

See Jihad John

See Amira Abase

See  Kadiza Sultana

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Bethnal Green Academy pupils Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, travelled to Istanbul in February after telling their parents they were going out for the day. Police believe they have crossed the border into Syria. Mobile phone footage released to the media shows this was with the help of a people smuggler who is alleged to have worked for Canadian intelligence. The three girls had been studying for their GCSEs at the school in Tower Hamlets – where they have been described as “straight-A students”. They followed in the footsteps of their school friend, Sharmeena Begum who the Metropolitan Police say left

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Three UK schoolgirls ‘travelling to Syria’

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Shamima Begum
Shamima Begum

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FULL STORY: Wives of ISIS

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 Shamima Begum  is one of three British schoolgirls from the Bethnal Green Academy in London who left home in February 2015 to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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A Woman of ISIS who wants out

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Background

The three girls had been questioned by the police in December 2014 after another girl from their school travelled to Syria, but were found not to be at risk.[1] They flew via Turkish Airlines from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul on 17 February.[1] Their families went to Turkey in March to probe the disappearance, deeming the police investigation inadequate.[2]

Their disappearance has been attributed to Aqsa Mahmood, a Glasgow woman who joined ISIL in 2013. There have been electronic communications between the girls and Mahmood.[1] She faces criminal charges if she returns.[3] Mahmood denies the allegations.[4]

In March 2015, footage was circulated of Abase Hussen, father of Amira Abase, on a 2012 rally led by Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary against the film Innocence of Muslims. The Metropolitan Police examined the footage but said that it was unlikely that offences had been committed.[5] Hussen said in April that he feels ashamed of his involvement in the rally, as he did not know who had organised it.[6]

The girls stole family jewellery to pay for their flight. They will not face criminal charges if they return to the United Kingdom.[7]

Aftermath

The disappearance resulted in the Metropolitan Police giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons on its circumstances in March 2015.[7] The families of the girls received an apology from Scotland Yard, who did not tell them about the other girl from their school who went to Syria in 2014.[8]

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that police should not be made “scapegoats” for people joining ISIL.[9] Contrary to the stance of the Metropolitan Police, Cameron said “Whoever has gone out to join a terrorist organisation is breaking the law and has to face the consequences of breaking the law and we have to let the law take its course in the proper way”.[10]

In March 2015, a travel ban was imposed upon five girls from the Bethnal Green Academy due to concerns from social services that they would join ISIL. The girls’ identities were kept secret, but the Press Association won a challenge at the High Court to be able to disclose that the girls attend the same school as the three who had already joined the group, stating that it was in the public interest.

According to The Guardian Two of the three east London schoolgirls who fled to join Islamic State in Syria have married men approved for them by the terrorist group, their families have told the Guardian.

Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, fled in February from Britain after deceiving their parents and siblings.

Two of the teenagers have been allowed to tell their families that they have been married and are living in the war-torn country. One phoned and another used a social media platform to tell the loved ones the news they have been dreading. At the request of their families, the Guardian is not naming the married pair.

Their families are said be be distraught at the news and have been clinging to the hope their daughters would want to come home.

The schoolgirls say that they have been separated and have been living apart for several weeks, in and around Raqqa, Syria – an Isis stronghold.

The two schoolgirls have been living with the men whom they married in a ceremony approved by Isis authorities.

The two schoolgirls are understood to have been given an effective “catalogue” of men deemed suitable by Isis for marriage. They then made their picks from those presented to them. The teenagers who married are believed to have been wed to older men, in their 20s.

Tasnime Akunjee, a solicitor representing the families, said they were grieving at the news of the marriages, as told to them by their daughters: “It has caused a lot of distress. It entrenches their lives in Syria, rather than in Britain. It erodes significantly hopes that they will come back.”

The girls initially lived together in Raqqa. They plotted the trip together, drawing up a shopping list of items to take with them.

See Amira Abase

See  Kadiza Sultana

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

British Jihadists – Amira Abase – She Devil

British Jihadists

 Amira Abase  

Age when left UK: 15

Home town: London

See Sally Anne Jones

See Jihad John

See Shamima Begum

See  Kadiza Sultana

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Bethnal Green Academy pupils Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, travelled to Istanbul in February after telling their parents they were going out for the day. Police believe they have crossed the border into Syria. Mobile phone footage released to the media shows this was with the help of a people smuggler who is alleged to have worked for Canadian intelligence. The three girls had been studying for their GCSEs at the school in Tower Hamlets – where they have been described as “straight-A students”. They followed in the footsteps of their school friend, Sharmeena Begum who the Metropolitan Police say left

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Three UK schoolgirls ‘travelling to Syria’

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Featured image

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FULL STORY: Wives of ISIS

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Amira Abase is one of three British schoolgirls from the Bethnal Green Academy in London who left home in February 2015 to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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A Woman of ISIS who wants out

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Background

The three girls had been questioned by the police in December 2014 after another girl from their school travelled to Syria, but were found not to be at risk.[1] They flew via Turkish Airlines from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul on 17 February.[1] Their families went to Turkey in March to probe the disappearance, deeming the police investigation inadequate.[2]

Their disappearance has been attributed to Aqsa Mahmood, a Glasgow woman who joined ISIL in 2013. There have been electronic communications between the girls and Mahmood.[1] She faces criminal charges if she returns.[3] Mahmood denies the allegations.[4]

In March 2015, footage was circulated of Abase Hussen, father of Amira Abase, on a 2012 rally led by Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary against the film Innocence of Muslims. The Metropolitan Police examined the footage but said that it was unlikely that offences had been committed.[5] Hussen said in April that he feels ashamed of his involvement in the rally, as he did not know who had organised it.[6]

The girls stole family jewellery to pay for their flight. They will not face criminal charges if they return to the United Kingdom.[7]

Aftermath

The disappearance resulted in the Metropolitan Police giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons on its circumstances in March 2015.[7] The families of the girls received an apology from Scotland Yard, who did not tell them about the other girl from their school who went to Syria in 2014.[8]

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that police should not be made “scapegoats” for people joining ISIL.[9] Contrary to the stance of the Metropolitan Police, Cameron said “Whoever has gone out to join a terrorist organisation is breaking the law and has to face the consequences of breaking the law and we have to let the law take its course in the proper way”.[10]

In March 2015, a travel ban was imposed upon five girls from the Bethnal Green Academy due to concerns from social services that they would join ISIL. The girls’ identities were kept secret, but the Press Association won a challenge at the High Court to be able to disclose that the girls attend the same school as the three who had already joined the group, stating that it was in the public interest.

According to the Daily Mail the British runaway schoolgirl, Amira Abase 16, had married  Australian ISIS fanatic dubbed the ‘Ginger Jihadi’ in Syria.

The  British teenager who fled to Syria has married a notorious Islamic State terrorist, who sent a chilling message to The Mail on Sunday threatening attacks on Britain.

Amira Abase, 16 – who travelled to Syria with two other school friends from East London – has married Australian extremist Abdullah Elmir.

He has bragged that IS would not stop their murderous campaign until their flag was flying over Buckingham Palace.

Police have now launched an urgent investigation after the radicalised fighter sent a horrific warning to this newspaper that supporters of the terror group are ‘itching to do an attack’ on targets in London.

Dubbed the ‘Ginger Jihadi’ because of his long red hair, 18-year-old Elmir became a poster boy for the Islamic State after he fled his home city of Sydney last year, and later turned up in Syria, appearing in sick propaganda videos.

One of the youngest Western fighters to have joined the group, he sent a message to The Mail on Sunday following our exclusive investigation into Abase, who we exposed last week as trying to lure an undercover reporter to Syria to become a jihadi bride like herself.

Elmir confirmed that he has married the British schoolgirl, who was only 15 when she travelled to Syria via Turkey earlier this year, and told us not to contact her again.

Boasting of his ‘connections’ in Britain, he warned of attacks against the UK as ‘brothers that I know there… are itching to do an attack.’

He added: ‘This is a direct threat.’

See Shamima Begum

See  Kadiza Sultana

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

British Jihadists – Kadiza Sultana – She Devil See

 British Jihadi – 

Kadiza Sultana

Age when left UK: 15 Home town: London

Bethnal Green Academy pupils Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, travelled to Istanbul in February after telling their parents they were going out for the day. Police believe they have crossed the border into Syria. Mobile phone footage released to the media shows this was with the help of a people smuggler who is alleged to have worked for Canadian intelligence. The three girls had been studying for their GCSEs at the school in Tower Hamlets – where they have been described as “straight-A students”. They followed in the footsteps of their school friend, Sharmeena Begum who the Metropolitan Police say left

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Three UK schoolgirls ‘travelling to Syria’

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FULL STORY: Wives of ISIS

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See Jihad John

See Sally Anne Jones

See Amira Abase

See  Shamima Begum

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Kadiza Sultana is one of three British schoolgirls from the Bethnal Green Academy in London who left home in February 2015 to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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A Woman of ISIS who wants out

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Background

The three girls had been questioned by the police in December 2014 after another girl from their school travelled to Syria, but were found not to be at risk.[1] They flew via Turkish Airlines from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul on 17 February.[1] Their families went to Turkey in March to probe the disappearance, deeming the police investigation inadequate.[2]

Their disappearance has been attributed to Aqsa Mahmood, a Glasgow woman who joined ISIL in 2013. There have been electronic communications between the girls and Mahmood.[1] She faces criminal charges if she returns.[3] Mahmood denies the allegations.[4]

In March 2015, footage was circulated of Abase Hussen, father of Amira Abase, on a 2012 rally led by Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary against the film Innocence of Muslims. The Metropolitan Police examined the footage but said that it was unlikely that offences had been committed.[5] Hussen said in April that he feels ashamed of his involvement in the rally, as he did not know who had organised it.[6]

The girls stole family jewellery to pay for their flight. They will not face criminal charges if they return to the United Kingdom.[7]

Aftermath

The disappearance resulted in the Metropolitan Police giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons on its circumstances in March 2015.[7] The families of the girls received an apology from Scotland Yard, who did not tell them about the other girl from their school who went to Syria in 2014.[8]

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that police should not be made “scapegoats” for people joining ISIL.[9] Contrary to the stance of the Metropolitan Police, Cameron said “Whoever has gone out to join a terrorist organisation is breaking the law and has to face the consequences of breaking the law and we have to let the law take its course in the proper way”.[10]

In March 2015, a travel ban was imposed upon five girls from the Bethnal Green Academy due to concerns from social services that they would join ISIL. The girls’ identities were kept secret, but the Press Association won a challenge at the High Court to be able to disclose that the girls attend the same school as the three who had already joined the group, stating that it was in the public interest.

See Amira Abase

See  Shamima Begum

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

British Jihadists – Sally Anne Jones – She Devil

British Jihadists  -Sally Anne Jones

In a picture that looks like it could have been lifted from a family photo album, mother Sally Jones and her partner cradle her new-born son.

sally anne jonnesssss 2
Muslim convert Sally Jones, 45, looking lovingly into the camera as she holds her baby boy with her former partner, just hours after the baby was born on December 19, 2004

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‘LOL @ England’:

British jihadi Sally-Anne Jones appears to mock Cameron on Twitter after being placed on UK’s most wanted list of ISIS fanatics and hit with travel ban

sally anneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee jones

The Twitter account has now been closed down

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The new image shows Muslim convert Jones, 45 – who spent a lifetime on benefits – looking lovingly into the camera as she holds her baby boy, just hours after he was born on December 19, 2004.

But ten years later the mother-of-two fled from Britain to Syria to join bloodthirsty ISIS militants.

Jones, from Chatham in Kent, also known as ‘Mrs Terror’, was one of four Britons suspected of leading recruitment drives and plotting terrorist attacks against the UK and elsewhere added to a United Nations list.

The other three are Omar Hussain from High Wycombe, Nasser Muthana from Cardiff and Aqsa Mahmood from Glasgow.

Click to read full story

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The Women of ISIS

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Back in the UK She played in a punk band back in Britain called Krunch. Now Sally Ann Jones is looking to raise holy hell online for the Islamic State.
A navel-baring British punk rocker turned Islamic State widow she is now aiming for a leadership role in the terror group’s cadre of hackers and online recruiters, United States officials believe.

Should she succeed, Sally Ann Jones, 45, would become ISIS’s most public European national to openly threaten U.S. and U.K. networks. She also would likely become the most influential woman in the so-called Islamic State, widely known as ISIS, transforming her into a key operational figure.

See Sally Anne Jones Threatens to kill herself

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British women joining jihad in Syria

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See Jihad John

See Shamima Begum

See  Kadiza Sultana

See Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Click to:  Read more…..

Generation Jihad – The Rise of British Jihadists – Islam UK –

Islam UK – Generation Jihad

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The Rise of British Jihadists in Syria

Britain’s young Muslims are taking the fight against President Bashir al-Assad from UK towns to the frontlines of Syria.  .  Amer Deghayes, a 20-year-old former student from Brighton, who joined the “holy war” against his father’s wishes after carrying out extensive research online.

We joined Amer after the death of his 18-year-old brother Abdullah, who died in a fierce battle against Assad forces in northern Syria. Undeterred by the bloody and brutal conflict, Amer’s 16-year-old brother Jaffer has since met up with him in Syria.
The UK is now attempting to combat, block, and remove thousands of items of “jihadist propaganda” from the internet in an attempt to deter Britons from taking up arms abroad. For Amer, the power of jihadist social media – which promotes stories of jihadi legend, martyrdom, and paradise – opened his eyes to the suffering of Muslims in Syria.
England is also now citing returning militants as “the biggest security threat to the United Kingdom.” The government’s position could leave Amer – and possibly thousands of unknown British fighters – stranded in increasingly fierce and bloody conflicts, and within the grasp of extremist jihadist groups.

British Jihadists Women Documentary 2015

Islamic State is a one-way ticket for jihadi brides

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British Jihadi Women Documentary 2015

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Just two out of 600 females who have ran from the West to join the Islamic State (Isis) have returned home from Syria, government figures show.

But walking into the warzone is a one-way-ticket with a small chance of return, with little realising this, with only two of the so-called jihadi brides having escaped home.

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ISIS Sex-Slave Raping & Selling Girls (Full Documentary)

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In comparison to this, European government officials which monitor these numbers note that almost one-third of male jihadists have escaped the clutches of IS are on their way back from Syria.

According to researchers, many women and girls are unable to escape from the warzone – even if they realise they have made a huge mistake.

The girls who leave the west to join IS are married off straight away, either in Turkey or when they cross into Syria. There are around 20,000 foreign fighters and approximately 5,000 European fighters in Syria, so there is no shortage of men looking for wives. That number is expected to double by the end of 2015.

Sara Khan, a British Muslim whose group Inspire campaigns against the dangers of extremist recruiters, told the Associated Press: “It’s so romanticized, the idea of this utopia. I don’t even think those young girls have necessarily considered that there’s no way back now.”

The women are not allowed to travel without a male, if they do they could face punishment, according to material IS published.

Sterlina Petalo is a Dutch teenager who converted to Islam, and came to known as Aicha. She travelled to Syria in 2014 to marry a Dutch jihadi fighter there and managed to return months later – it is assumed she made her way to Turkey, where her mother picked her up and brought her back to the Netherlands. Back home, she was immediately arrested on suspicion of joining a terror group.

A 25-year-old Briton, who police did not name also made her way back to the UK along with her toddler that she took all the way to Raqqa. She decided she made a mistake and called home, she made her way back to Turkey and called her father there who met her there. In the UK she was detained and charged but is now free on bail.

Currently 60 British women and girls have fled the UK to become jihadi brides, including three girls from Bethnal Green in East London who ran away in February.

Amira Abase, 15, Shamima Begum, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, were captured on CCTV before arriving in Syria. The video was recorded on 17 February, the day the three friends left their homes in East London, after telling their families they would be out for the day.

They are now believed to be living in the IS stronghold Raqqa, however reports suggest that they have been separated and possibly married off to fighters as jihadi brides.

These three girls left the UK on their own free will and are now apparently are being trained for “special missions’ and are likely to die in the Middle East as suicide bombers Um Asmah, a Islamic State commander who is now on the run, told Sky News.

Um Asmah said the girls were “very, very happy” on arrival and had been laughing and smiling, but they were unprepared and had little experience of living permanently veiled and under the strict regime.

Their fate has already been determined by the terror group, she explained, adding: “Everything is already decided for you and you cannot evade it or refuse it. You cannot have a mind of your own,” Asmah told Sky News.

She said the Bethnal Green trio are special to the terror group, but the extremist group has plenty more foreign girls, with more joining each month.

Jihadi bride: Another Briton who left Britain to join ISIS is Lewisham-born Khadijah Dare (left). Here she is pictured alongside her Swedish terrorist

Now on the run, Um Asmah says she will be killed if she is ever caught by IS fighters. “I am a traitor and an unbeliever now,” she said. “I am scared every minute and of everyone I meet.”

This week, Metropolitan Police counter terrorism officers stopped a 16-year-old girl from London travelling to Syria after she was groomed on Twitter to flee to the war zone and marry an IS soldier.