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“You will even fear travelling to the market,”
French ISIS fighter. (Courtesy of YouTube)
Staff writer | Al Arabiya News.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group has released a video showing several French-speaking fighters calling on Muslims in France to launch a terror campaign at home.
The video, which according to the Guardian was released by ISIS’ media wing Al Hayat Media Department, shows a group of unmasked fighters around a fire in a wooded area, burning what appear to be their French passports.
One of the masked men can be heard saying: “We disbelieve in you and your passports, and if you come here we will fight you.”
France is a member of the international coalition fighting the militant group, although it has restricted its operation to Iraq, one of the two countries ISIS has managed to gain a foothold in. On Wednesday, Paris said it had increased the number of warplanes involved in the campaign.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says that “close to 50” French citizens have been killed fighting alongside Islamist militants in Syria.
Around 1,000 French nationals are thought to have taken part in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, with 375 currently there, the government has said.
French ISIS fighters have been implicated in the recent beheading of a group of Syrians that the group posted in a video online.
According to the Guardian, one of the fighters in the video identified as Abu Osama al-Faranci castigates French Muslims for not emigrating to ISIS’ so-called state.
A second fighter identified as Abu Maryam al-Faranci says the “mujahideen” will not hesitate to chop the heads of the “enemies of Islam,” the daily reported.
“You will even fear travelling to the market,” he said.
Abu Salman al-Faranci, another fighter, suggests that those who cannot join ISIS abroad “should “operate within France.”
“Terrorize them and do not allow them to sleep due to fear and horror,” he added.
“Do whatever you can to humiliate them,” he said.
ISIS has released similar propaganda videos aimed at recruiting Muslims from different parts of the world, including Europe and Australia.
Earlier this week, French President Francois Hollande voiced concern about the phenomena of Westerners joining ISIS, which has proclaimed a “caliphate” stretching parts of Iraq and Syria, and slammed how the recruits had been “brainwashed”.
The UN report says the jihadists come from some 80 countries. Photo: AP.
LONDON (AP) – The United Nations has warned that 15,000 foreign jihadists from 80 countries have travelled to fight in Iraq and Syria, raising the number of foreign militants to an “unprecedented scale.”
The UN Security Council report, obtained by The Guardian daily in London, also said that the Islamic State (ISIS) treasury has up to $45 million in funds from kidnappings for ransom, besides its revenues from oil smuggling, estimated at $1 million daily.
The newspaper quoted the report as saying that the jihadists have arrived from countries that had not previously contributed to global terrorism, and have joined the ranks of ISIS and other extremist groups.
Although it did not list all the 80 countries they come from, the report said “there are instances of foreign terrorist fighters from France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland operating together.”
The report, produced by a committee that monitors al-Qaeda jihadists, said the “numbers since 2010 are now many times the size of the cumulative numbers of foreign terrorist fighters between 1990 and 2010 – and are growing.”
It noted that more nations than ever will face the challenge of experienced fighters returning home from the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
Dozens of people have been arrested around the world on their way to ISIS jihads or for helping the group, which controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Many countries in Europe are passing anti-terrorist laws.
The new UN figure raises previous US intelligence estimates of foreign jihadists, placing the number at 7,000 in March and 12,000 in July.
The Guardian said the UN report concluded that ISIS has taken the place of al-Qaeda and this has yielded an explosion of jihadist enthusiasm for the Islamic State.
“Al-Qaida core and ISISL pursue similar strategic goals, albeit with tactical differences regarding sequencing and substantive differences about personal leadership,” the UN report said, using a different acronym for ISIS.
It noted that while ISIS has a “cosmopolitan” embrace of social media platforms and internet culture, al-Qaeda has a “long and turgid messaging.”
A “lack of social media message discipline” in ISIS points to a leadership “that recognizes the terror and recruitment value of multichannel, multi-language social and other media messaging,” reflecting a younger and “more international” membership than al-Qaeda’s various affiliates, said the Guardian, quoting the report.
The ranks of ISIS are attracting many teenage boys and girls and even converts to Islam from Western countries. Three American girls between 15 and 17 from a Muslim background were caught in Germany recently as they were trying to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
British Isis fighter calls David Cameron a ‘despicable swine’ in online video | #ISIS #IslamicState #Britain
Western governments challenged to send ground troops after UK air strikes on Islamic State.
A still from the Isis propaganda video in which an apparent British Islamic State fighter calls the prime minister a ‘despicable swine’.
Jamie Orme reporting,
An apparent British Islamic State (Isis) fighter has appeared unmasked in a video posted online in which he calls the prime minister, David Cameron, a “despicable swine”.
Dressed in camouflage fatigues and with a bandaged right arm, the bespectacled man challenges western governments to “send all your forces on the ground” in the high-quality footage.
Sitting in front of a wall with an AK-47 rifle propped up beside him, he said: “This is a message to that despicable swine David Cameron. You along with all the other western governments have decided to bomb the Islamic State.
“If you were real men, you would send all your forces down on the ground. You would not bomb us from the sky – you would send them all on the ground fighting us one by one. But you know in the hearts of your men, they’re cowards.”
The video appears after the RAF carried out a series of strikes on Isis forces, following parliament’s authorisation for British involvement in the international military campaign.
In the latest video to appear online, the fighter takes the unusual step of appearing without a mask or balaclava. In other Isis films, including footage of the beheadings of the US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and the British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, the men in them are masked.
He attacks the US for calling on “40 other nations” to join in the attacks on Isis, adding: “You’re fighting people who love death more than you love life.
“So send all your forces, send them all, send all your reserves, send all your backups, because we’ll send them all back in coffins,” he said.
He then asks “all the brothers in the UK” why they remain in the west, urging them to join the jihad overseas.
But the militant then appears to urge supporters in the west who are unable to travel to Iraq and Syria to commit acts of terrorism in their home countries.
“You can cause terror from right within. So unlike us you can cause damage, you can cause real damage,” he says.
Australian prime minister says Islamic State extremists ‘aren’t fighting for God’ and are infatuated with death.
Daniel Hurst, political correspondent.
Prime minister Tony Abbott addressing the UN security council
Australia will not flinch in the campaign against terrorism, Tony Abbott has told the UN security council, as the government edges closer to joining the Iraq conflict and leaves the door open to action in Syria.
The prime minister said Islamic State (Isis) had effectively “declared war on the world” by declaring itself a caliphate.
But he told the meeting convened by the US president, Barack Obama, in New York that the world might be heading towards a “moral victory” with growing acceptance “that it can never be right to kill in the name of God”.
Obama said the resolution adopted by the security council required nations “to prevent and suppress the recruiting, organising, transporting or equipping of foreign terrorist fighters as well as the financing of their travel or activities”.
In a speech to the security council, Abbott referred to the shooting death of a person of interest to counter-terrorism police outside a Melbourne police station on Tuesday night, and last week’s large raids in Sydney.
“Last week, an Australian operative in Syria instructed his local network to conduct demonstration killings and this week an Australian terror suspect savagely attacked two policemen,” he said.
“Now, it’s hard to imagine that citizens of a pluralist democracy could have succumbed to such delusions yet clearly they have. The Australian government will be utterly unflinching towards anything that threatens our future as a free, fair and multicultural society, a beacon of hope and exemplar of unity in diversity.”
Abbott said thousands of misguided people from around the world were joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq “because they claim Islam is under threat and because they’re excited by the prospect of battle”.
“But whatever they think or say, these terrorists aren’t fighting for God or for religious faith. At the heart of every terrorist group is an infatuation with death. What else can explain the beheadings, crucifixions, mass execution, rapes and sexual slavery in every town and city that’s fallen to the terrorist movement now entrenched in eastern Syria and northern Iraq.
“A terrorist movement calling itself Islamic State insults Islam and it mocks the duties of a legitimate state towards its citizens. And to use this term is to dignify a death cult, a death cult that in declaring itself a caliphate has declared war on the world.”
Abbott said more than 60 Australians were believed to be fighting with Isis and Al-Nusra and “more than 60 Australians have had their passports suspended to prevent them from joining terrorist groups in the Middle East”.
He referred to the biggest overhaul of Australia’s counter-terrorism laws in a decade by saying the government was acting “to ensure that foreign fighters returning home can be arrested, prosecuted and jailed for a very long time indeed”.
“But we aren’t just dealing with potential terrorists at home, we are tackling their inspiration abroad,” Abbott said. “Our combat aircraft and special forces are now in the Middle East preparing to join the international coalition to disrupt and degrade [Isis] at the request of the Iraqi government.”
Abbott praised Obama for showing leadership in assembling a broad coalition, and said the participation of Middle Eastern countries in US-led air strikes in Syria was “the clearest possible demonstration that the west can’t solve this problem alone and won’t have to”.
“Our goal is not to change people but to protect them,” Abbott said. “It’s not to change governments, but to combat terrorism. Governments that don’t commit genocide against their own people, nor permit terrorism against ours – that is all we seek.”
Abbott said there were grounds for hope because the Isis horror had “generated all but universal revulsion” including condemnation from Muslim leaders.
“Perhaps the realisation is now dawning for all peoples, all cultures and all faiths that it can never be right to kill in the name of God and that would be a moral victory far surpassing any military success,” he said.
Australia has sent to the Middle East about 600 Australian defence force (ADF) members in anticipation of an imminent decision to participate in action against Isis in Iraq.
The expected commitment includes use of Australian Super Hornet combat aircraft against Isis targets in Iraq. Armed Australian military advisers would be sent into the headquarters of Iraqi and Kurdish security forces to help them with planning.
In a media conference after the UN meeting, Abbott left the door open to Australian participation in air strikes in Syria.
Abbott pointed to the participation of five Middle Eastern countries in air strikes in Syria, “which have been justified as I understand it on the doctrine of collective self-defence”.
“We are carefully considering the situation,” he said, without ruling out escalation of Australian involvement in the Middle Eastern conflicts.
“We have no intention at this point of seeking to enter into combat operations in Syria. We have no intention of independent combat operations on the ground in Iraq. We are prepared to be helpful.”
Asked about the willingness of Australians to support combat troops on the ground in Iraq, Abbott said: “There’s no doubt that the difficulties of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath do cast a long shadow, rightly so. We should be very slow to reach out to conflicts thousands of miles away. This is very different from 2003. For one thing, this conflict for month has been reaching out to us. That’s why it’s important we do what we can at home and abroad to keep our people safe.”
Ian Traynor in Brussels.
The Berlaymont building, which houses the European commission. Photograph: WestEnd61/Rex
Belgium has been put on edge over potential Islamist terrorist attacks for the second time in four months amid reports that a man and woman who had returned from the war in Syria via Turkey were plotting an assault on the European Union’s main offices in Brussels.
According to the Dutch public broadcaster, NOS, the couple were detained in Belgium where investigators were said to have proof of a planned attack on the Berlaymont building, the offices housing the European commission.
A commission spokeswoman said she was aware of the reports, but that the organisation, the EU executive and civil service, had received no warnings of any specific threats.
With governments across Europe increasingly preoccupied by the risks arising from the return of nationals who have joined gone to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State (Isis), concern is particularly high in Belgium.
Four-hundred Belgians are said to have travelled to Syria to join the extremists, usually via Turkey and its long, porous border into the war zone. While that figure is much lower than the estimates for Britain, France or Germany, proportionately and in per capita terms Belgium is believed to have the highest number in Europe of would-be jihadists travelling to Syria.
The Dutch and Belgian security services have carried out coordinated raids on suspected returning fighters and sympathisers over the past month. The couple, believed to be resident in The Hague in the Netherlands and of Turkish origin, were said to have been arrested at Brussels airport after returning from Syria via a flight from Turkey.
The Guardian’s Brussels office is adjacent to the European commission building and there was no evidence of beefed up security measure in place in the district on Sunday.
According to the Belgian newspaper L’Echo, almost a quarter of the suspected Belgian jihadists have returned home from the Middle East. It quoted national counter-terrorism investigators as saying that at least 10 of those who had returned were plotting attacks on their home territory.
In June, 46 suspected members of Sharia4Belgium, a radical Islamist group believed to be involved in sending young fighters to Syria, were ordered to face trial on charges that include belonging to a terrorist organisation.
A French-Moroccan man is under arrest in Belgium awaiting trial after allegedly spraying the Jewish Museum in central Brussels with automatic gunfire in May, killing four people.
Mehdi Nemmouche is awaiting trial on “terrorist murder” charges. He had spent more than a year fighting with Islamist extremists in Syria, according to authorities in Belgium and France where he was arrested.
A fire at a synagogue in the Brussels district of Anderlecht last week is believed to have been the work of arsonists.
According to the Dutch broadcaster, citing Belgian investigators, the couple may be charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation, of breaking laws on possession of weapons, and of funding terrorism.