Modern Da’wa By Western Mujahideen On Social Media: Fighting In Syria Is ‘Fun,’ Thrilling

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sources Of Authority And Inspiration

Western mujahideen are influenced by prominent jihadi movement figures – first and foremost by Osama bin Laden, who is glorified and quoted on a regular basis. They also rely on Salafi-jihadi scholars such as Abu Qatada, Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, and others.

American ISIS member Abu Muhajir posted a photo of bin Laden on his Facebook page (where he calls himself Doula Mansoura) and praised Al-Qaeda’s founder for being a “thorn in the side of the kuffar [infidels] and munafiqeen [hypocrites] in his life and after his death… We are your soldiers, Oh Osama!”

Western jihadis are also heavily influenced by radical clerics and preachers who speak their language. Anglophones, for instance, are heavily influenced by the U.S.-born Anwar Al-‘Awake, who played a leading role in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was killed in an American drone strike in 2011. Jihadis frequently advise each other to listen to his audio lectures, which are widely available online. Abu Uthman Al-Britani wrote: “I tend to listen to Anwar Al-‘Awake rahimahullah [may Allah have mercy on him].” The American Abu Muhajir often quotes Al-‘Awake; for example, on March 23, 2014 he tweeted an Al-Awake quote: “America of today does not want an Islam which defends the plight of the Ummah, and Islam that calls for jihad and calls for the sharia.”

Other sources of inspiration for Anglophones include the charismatic Australian cleric Musa Cerantonio, an outspoken supporter of ISIS.[1] Cerantonio, a convert to Islam who had his own show on the religious Saudi TV channel Iqra, has a large following on Facebook (12,000 likes) and Twitter (almost 2,000 followers, as of this writing). Many fighters in Syria subscribe to his Facebook page, quote his teachings, and discuss his views. He is also considered a reliable source of news from the frontlines in Syria, since he translates ISIS publications from Arabic into English and aggregates and posts for his followers information he receives from other Arabic sources.

Musa Cerantonio

Lesser-known preachers are also important sources of inspiration and guidance. Dozens of Francophone jihadis in France and Belgium were recruited by Jean Louis Denis, a Belgian preacher who operated out of a mosque on the France-Belgium border. Another major recruiter, who facilitated the arrival in Syria of dozens of European youths and their joining of jihadi groups there, is Mustafa Maya Amaya, a Belgium-born resident of Spain. Both men have been arrested by local authorities.[2]

No Turning Back

Many of these Western fighters apparently have no intention of returning to their countries of origin. Western fighters’ documenting and sharing their destruction of their passports on social media has become a common theme. For example, Canadian fighter El Sami posted a video of himself dousing his passport in gasoline, setting it on fire, and then shooting at it with an AK-47., January 9, 2014.

A Dutch fighter, Abu Ibraheim, similarly boasts about burning his passport, posting a photo of the charred remains and writing: “cancel our passports, stop our so-called benefits… by Allah, we are honored to have nothing to do with you.” It is clear that neither of these fighters have any intention of returning home. abu.ibrahiem.96, March 26, 2014.

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