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I say a little prayer on an open thread

European jihadists join the holy war

3

I guess these devout Muslims havent seen the Hamas-CAIR #MyJihad bus campaign:

European
Jihadists: The Latest Export

Soeren
Kern, Gatestone Institute March 21, 2013 

"I ended up running for my life, barefoot and handcuffed,
while British jihadists — young men with south London
accents — shot to kill. And not a Syrian in sight. This
wasn't what I had expected." — John Cantlie, British
photographer

More than 1,000 Muslims from across Europe are currently
active as Islamic jihadists, or holy warriors, in Syria,
which has replaced Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia as the
main destination for militant Islamists seeking to obtain
immediate combat experience with little or no official
scrutiny.

As the number of European jihadists in Syria grows,
European officials are beginning to express concerns about
the threat these "enemies within" will pose when they return
to Europe.

In Britain, for example, Foreign Secretary William
Hague
recently said, "Syria is now the number one
destination for jihadists anywhere in the world today. This
includes a number of individuals connected with the United
Kingdom and other European countries. They may not pose a
threat to us when they first go to Syria, but if they
survive, some may return ideologically hardened and with
experience of weapons and explosives."

British authorities believe that more than 100 British
Muslims have gone to fight in Syria in the hope of
overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
and replacing it with an Islamic state.

Many of the British Muslims in Syria have joined extremist
groups, including Jabhat
al-Nusra
, the most dangerous and effective Sunni
jihadist group fighting against the Assad regime. Jabhat
al-Nusra, linked to al-Qaeda, was declared a terrorist
organization by the United States in December 2012. Due to a
steady flow of money and arms from backers in Saudi Arabia,
Qatar and other Sunni Muslim countries, the group has grown
in size and influence.

According to the British newspaper The
Independent
, most of the British Muslims
participating in the fight against Assad "are not deemed to
be doing anything illegal" and are thus able to reenter
Britain without any problems. The paper reports that only a
small number of those who have returned to Britain from the
fighting in Syria have been arrested, but all for one
specific offense: their alleged role in the July 2012
kidnapping of a British freelance photographer, John
Cantlie
, after he crossed into Syria.

Cantlie, along with Dutch photographer Jeroen Oerlemans,
was abducted by a group of British jihadists near the city
of Idlib in northwestern Syria. Both men were later rescued
by "moderate" fighters linked to the Free
Syrian Army
.

After his release from captivity, Cantlie expressed
astonishment at the number of "disenchanted young Britons"
fighting in Syria. In an account of his experience published
in The Sunday
Times
on August 5, 2012 (site operates behind a
pay wall), Cantlie wrote: "I ended up running for my life,
barefoot and handcuffed, while British jihadists — young
men with south London accents — shot to kill. They were
aiming their Kalashnikovs at a British journalist, Londoner
against Londoner in a rocky landscape that looked like the
Scottish Highlands. Bullets kicking up dirt as I ran. A
bullet through my arm, another grazing my ear. And not a
Syrian in sight. This wasn't what I had expected."

Cantlie quoted one man, who claimed to be a former
supermarket worker in Britain, as threatening him: "You are
spies. You work for MI5 [British domestic security agency],
you work for MI6 [British foreign intelligence agency].
Prepare for the afterlife. Are you ready to meet Allah?"

Oerlemans has described a similar experience in Syria. In
an interview with the Dutch newspaper NRC
Handelsblat
he said: "The jihadists had genuine
British accents, from Birmingham, Liverpool. A British
Pakistani told how he had grown up with British playmates.
He tried so hard to be British."

In France, the daily newspaper Le
Figaro
reported on March 13, 2013 that "at least
50" and "as many as 80" French citizens are fighting with
jihadist groups in Syria. The number is far higher than the
"handful" claimed by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls
to be operating alongside Islamists in Mali, or the
estimated number of Frenchmen who went to Bosnia, Iraq or
Afghanistan to wage jihad.

Leading French anti-terrorism Judge Marc Trévidic told Le
Figaro
that the presence of so many French jihadists
in Syria presents French authorities with an uncomfortable
paradox. Because France officially supports the effort to
overthrow the Assad regime — France was the first Western
country to recognize Syria's rebel council as the country's
legitimate interlocutors — it is difficult for the French
government now to come out and say that it does not support
those who are fighting the war.

Trévidic said Syria was a natural destination for French
jihadists. There are no visa requirements for French
citizens to enter neighboring Turkey, where it is easy to
find Syrian contacts and then cross a porous border. He also
said that trained and experienced jihadists, once back in
France, could become a dangerous problem for the
authorities.

"No one," Trévidic said "is trying to stop them going into
Syria;" he then referred to their fight as an "authorized
jihad." He added: "It is particularly complicated to qualify
their adventures in Syria as acts of terrorism. But let's
not be fooled. A good proportion of them are going there in
the hope of helping to establish a radical Islamic state.
The actual terrorism will begin just as soon as the Assad
regime is defeated."

The interview with Trévidic came just two days after French
police arrested three suspected Islamists in the town of
Marignane, near Marseille. Police found weapons and
explosives at the home of one of the suspects, all French
citizens between the ages of 18 and 27.

Paris prosecutor François Molins said on March 11 that the
three men may have been planning an attack to commemorate
the first anniversary of the shooting rampage in the
southern city of Toulouse by Mohamed
Merah
, a 23-year-old French Islamic jihadist of
Algerian origin who killed three French paratroopers, three
Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi with close-range shots to
the head.

"The investigation before their arrest," Molins said,
"showed that they were training for making improvised
explosive devices based on a jihadist radicalization, a
glorification of Mohamed Merah, and an affirmed desire to go
into action."

Molins added, "The investigation showed we were faced with
a veritable laboratory for making improvised explosive
devices." During the search of the home of one of the
detainees, police found two pistols, a revolver, 50 grams of
acetone peroxide (TATP, a powerful explosive), 150 kilograms
of nitrate, and two liters of acetone, which Molins said
would have enabled the production of 600 grams of TATP.

The tremendous devastative force of TATP, which is
relatively easy to make but difficult to detect, has made it
a weapon of choice for Islamic terrorists, who often refer
to it as "The
Mother of Satan
." Molins said the mixture of acetone
with 150 kilos of nitrate "could have caused considerable
damage for a radius of several hundred meters."

Interior Minister Manuel
Valls
said the arrests in Marignane shows that France
"faces an enemy from within which is the fruit of a process
of radicalization."

In nearby Holland, the Dutch public broadcasting system, NOS
television
, reported on March 12 that the Netherlands
has become one of the major European suppliers of Islamic
jihadists. According to NOS, about 100 Dutch Muslims are
presently active as jihadists in Syria; most have joined the
notorious Jabhat
al-Nusra
rebel group.

As in other European countries, Dutch counter-terrorism
experts are worried that Dutch jihadists will bring their
war-fighting skills back to the Netherlands.

On March 13, the Dutch government raised its alert level
for terrorist attacks from "limited" to "substantial." In a
statement, the National
Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism
(NCTV),
a government agency within the Security and Justice
Ministry, said: "The chance of an attack in the Netherlands
or against Dutch interests abroad has risen. Close to a
hundred individuals have recently left the Netherlands for
various countries in Africa and the Middle East, especially
Syria." The agency said individuals fighting for radical
Islam abroad could return and "inspire others in the
Netherlands to follow in their footsteps."

The Dutch daily newspaper Trouw
reported on March 16 that the Justice Ministry lacks
measures at its disposal to prevent Dutch jihadists from
embarking on their foreign adventures. The paper noted that
Dutch courts have so far been unable to prosecute Dutch
jihadists for travelling to foreign battlefields.

Trouw describes the trial in a Rotterdam court of
three Dutch Kurds, arrested in November 2012 just before
travelling to Syria to join jihadist fighters there.
Prosecutors accused the three of "taking preparatory actions
for the purpose of committing terrorist offenses." But the
case is pending because it remains unclear which terrorist
actions the three were planning to commit in Syria. Two of
the three have been released from jail.

In neighboring Belgium, the daily newspaper De
Standaard
reported on March 11 that at least 70
members of the outlawed Sharia4Belgium,
a Muslim group that wants to turn Belgium into an Islamic
state, are actively fighting in Syria. The paper noted that
that most of the Belgian jihadists are "young people,
between the ages of 17 and 25, who grew up here. They are
young people without qualifications and often with criminal
records. They come from Antwerp, Brussels, Mechelen and
Vilvoorde."

De Standaard reports that the Belgian security
services are "particularly concerned about what will happen
when the military-trained "drop-outs," after the war from
Syria, return to our country." The paper adds that it has
been difficult to prosecute jihadists in Belgian courts, as
the uprising against Assad is "generally regarded as
legitimate."

The newspaper pointed to a recent court case in the Belgian
city of Mechelen, where 13 Muslim extremists were acquitted
of having membership in a terrorist organization. The court
said that although there was evidence that the jihadists
travelled to Chechnya in Russia, there was no evidence that
they fought there as members of a terrorist group.

In Denmark, the daily newspaper Politiken
reported on March 3 that a 30-year-old Danish convert to
Islam, Abdel Malik, had been killed in fighting near the
Syrian city of Homs. The newspaper said that an Islamic
Facebook page
, created to protest a comedy show that
pokes fun at Denmark's immigrant and Muslim community, has
established a fund to help support Malik's family, which
includes a wife who is also a convert to Islam, and four
young children.

Malik's death came two weeks after another Danish citizen,
Slimane
Hadj Abderrahmane
was also killed while fighting with
rebels in Syria. Abderrahmane, born to a Danish mother and
an Algerian father, is known for the two years he spent in
American custody at the Guantanamo military base after being
captured in Afghanistan in 2001.

According to an article in US
News & World Report
, Abderrahmane was
released in February 2004, despite reservations from
American security officials, because the Danish government
had threatened to withdraw its troops from Iraq if he were
not released.

In 2007, while working as a mailman in Copenhagen,
Abderrahmane was convicted of stealing two passports and
three credit cards, and of withdrawing 110,000 kroner
($20,000). Abderrahmane refused to testify during the trial:
he denied the legitimacy of the Danish court to try Muslims.
He spent ten months in jail, but the stolen money was never
recovered.

In an interview with the Politiken
newspaper in September 2011, Abderrahmane said he was not
afraid to die fighting for Islam. "Jihad means serving God
and by doing so you achieve justice," he said.

According to Mehdi
Mozaffari
, a professor of Islam at Aarhus University,
Abderrahmane is now being regarded as a martyr: "He has
become a symbol, especially for young Muslims. You could say
that he has become known as a sort of Muslim Che Guevara."

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten
reported on March 1 that Abu Ahmed, the Imam of the Quba
Amager mosque in southern Copenhagen, referred to
Abderrahmane as a "real man" and said it was "heroic" to die
in holy war in Syria.

The newspaper also said that Ahmed had joined forces with a
Danish Salafist group, Hjælp4Syrien.dk
, and that together the two are engaged in a propaganda
campaign aimed at encouraging young Danish Muslims to take
part in the jihad in Syria. Hjælp4Syrien.dk says Danish
jihadists should support the war in Syria "financially,
physically and verbally." On its Facebook page, the group
shows an image of a young Muslim with a machine gun, who is
apparently willing to die for Allah.

Meanwhile, European Muslims are celebrating so-called
"Martyrs' Weddings" for jihadists killed in Syria. The Middle
East Media Research Institute
on March 4 published
photographs of one such wedding, held in an undisclosed
location in Europe — presumably France — to symbolize the
deceased's wedding to the virgins of Paradise.

Jihadist movements are staging
these weddings
as a means of encouraging young men to
join their ranks and adopt the ideology of jihad and
martyrdom, based on the Islamic belief that every martyr is
rewarded with 72 black-eyed virgin brides in Paradise.

The Truth Must be Told

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