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November 22, 2013 0

New Al Qaeda Video Underscores Threat of Americans Joining Terror Groups In Syria

abu-dujana-amriki-syria

Man iden­ti­fied as Abu Dujana al-Amriki in ISIS video

An Eng­lish lan­guage video glo­ri­fy­ing Islamist rebel groups in Syria and appar­ently fea­tur­ing an Amer­i­can was released ear­lier this month by The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an Al Qaeda affil­i­ate fight­ing in Syria.

The video is part of a new wave of Eng­lish lan­guage recruit­ment mate­ri­als by Islamist rebels in Syria and comes at a time of increased con­cern about Amer­i­cans and other West­ern­ers trav­el­ling to Syria to fight.

The video fea­tures an appar­ently Amer­i­can man with the nom de guerre Abu Dujana al-Amriki. Hold­ing a rifle, he addresses his mes­sage “to the peo­ple of the West…from the mujahideen (reli­gious fight­ers) in Syria.” Encour­ag­ing oth­ers to join, he says that “We’ve come here from all nation­al­i­ties to defend this land…to spread the Shariah (reli­gious law) of Allah on the face of the earth, and to give our lives and our souls for this jihad and to Jan­nah (Paradise).”

The video also adds strength to con­cerns that for­eign fight­ers based in Syria may even­tu­ally return to pose a threat to their home coun­tries. In the sec­ond part of his speech, al-Amriki states that, “With these sim­ple weapons we will free these lands, and free these peo­ple, and we’ll bring the right of Islam to rule all of the entire world, over Europe and Amer­ica, over Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa,” adding, “And with these weapons we’ll kill the infidels.”

The video comes amidst reports of “dozens” of Amer­i­cans trav­el­ling to Syria and, if true, would indi­cate that al-Amriki is the 7th named Amer­i­can to have trav­elled or attempted to travel to Syria this year. Both his pres­ence and his remarks under­score the threat of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents trav­el­ling to Syria and else­where to join ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing Jab­hat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, and Al Shabaab.

The video con­cludes with the image of a dead fighter, whom it claims is al-Amriki.

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July 31, 2013 0

Pittsburgh Man Drawn To Syrian Front Underscores Emerging Trend

amiir-farouk ibrahim-passport-syria

Amiir Farouk Ibrahim’s passport

An Egyptian-American man born in Pitts­burgh is report­edly the lat­est Amer­i­can to join the con­flict in Syria on the side of rebels fight­ing against the Assad regime.

Amiir Farouk Ibrahim may also be the lat­est Amer­i­can casualty.

Ibrahim’s Amer­i­can and Egypt­ian pass­ports were dis­cov­ered ear­lier this month after Kur­dish fight­ers over­ran a com­pound once held by the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella orga­ni­za­tion com­posed of sev­eral Sunni insur­gency groups affil­i­ated with Al Qaeda.

If dead, Ibrahim would be the sec­ond Amer­i­can known to have been killed in Syria’s civil war. Nicole Mans­field, a con­vert to Islam from Michi­gan, was killed in Syria in May 2013.

Ibrahim’s fam­ily report­edly indi­cated that he trav­eled to Turkey before cross­ing into Syria ear­lier this year. He received a bachelor’s degree in busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion from Florida Inter­na­tional Uni­ver­sity in 2008.

Ibrahim’s Face­book page con­tained numer­ous posts sug­gest­ing that he sub­scribed to a rad­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tion of Islam con­sis­tent with Al Qaeda’s ide­ol­ogy. For example:

  • Feb­ru­ary 1: Ibrahim posted an image call­ing for a boy­cott of French prod­ucts because of the French mil­i­tary cam­paign against Al Qaeda in Mali.
  • Jan­u­ary 30: Ibrahim posted sev­eral pho­tos of a house on an island with the cap­tion, “So you can imag­ine how par­adise would look like.” He posted a com­ment on one of the pho­tos ask­ing God to make him “one of the peo­ple of Paradise.”
  • Jan­u­ary 30: Ibrahim posted a photo for Mohammed Bouy­eri, the Dutch–Moroccan con­victed of killing Dutch film­maker Theo Van Gogh. The com­ment on the post reads in part, “The lion Mohammed Bouy­eri (May God release him from his prison) did an oper­a­tion that will be recorded with gold in the his­tory of Islam.”
  • Decem­ber 2, 2012:  Ibrahim posted a YouTube video that fea­tures the pop­u­lar jihadi song “Madin Kas-Sayf” [Sharp like the Sword].
  • Octo­ber 18, 2012: Ibrahim posted a com­ment call­ing upon Mus­lims to embrace Jihad and sup­port the Sunni Mus­lims in Syria against the Shia’a.

As ADL reported in June, there have been three other pub­licly dis­closed cases of Amer­i­cans involved in fight­ing with rebels. Each has been linked to Jab­hat al-Nusrah (JN), a State Department-designated alias for Al Qaeda in Iraq. It is unknown how many Amer­i­cans have entered the con­flict on the side of rebel fac­tions unaf­fil­i­ated with Al Qaeda.

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