Jihadists release video of British suicide bomber in Syria


Abdul-Waheed-Majeed.jpg

Jihadists have released a video of a British fighter who carried out a suicide attack in a recent assault on an Aleppo prison conducted by the Al Nusrah Front and the Army of the Caliphate. Abdul Waheed Majeed, the British suicide bomber, is seen just before he rams an up-armored dump truck into the prison.

Majeed, who is thought to be the first Brit to carry out a suicide attack inside Syria, is seen in a videotape titled "The last operation Emir Saifullah al Shishani." Saifullah, a Chechen, was a leader of the "Al-Khilafa army," or Army of the Caliphate, which fights under the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, al Qaeda's branch in Syria. Before he was killed during the fighting in Aleppo, Saifullah swore allegiance to the emir of the Al Nusrah Front after defecting from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. [See LWJ report, Al Nusrah Front praises Chechen commander killed in Aleppo.]

A decade before traveling to Syria to wage jihad for the Al Nusrah Front, Majeed was a student of Omar Bakri Muhammad, the radical jihadist cleric who once wrote statements for Osama bin Laden and who formed al-Muhajiroun, which has been banned in England for terrorist activities. Majeed was also a member of al-Muhajiroun from 1996-2004.

Bakri called Majeed "a very dear brother," who was active in promoting the "Muslim cause," the Guardian reported.

"He wanted to study Islam and wanted to know what it was to be a good Muslim," Bakri said. "He was also very interested in the issue of how we could establish an Islamic state."

Majeed is seen at 26:30 into the video [below]. He is wearing a white dishdasha and headband, and stands next to a dump truck that is packed with explosives and armored with steel plating. Several jihadists pose for pictures with Majeed.

Someone asks Majeed to give final words, but Majeed says, in English, that he "is not a very good speaker" and "his tongue has, got like a knot in it." He then notes that anything he says "should come from the heart." "I can't do it," he says.

The video then cuts to the dump truck driving away towards the prison. Heavy gunfire breaks out between the jihadists and Syrian forces at the prison. Minutes later, a massive blast is seen at the prison as Majeed detonated his explosives. Other jiahdists are heard yelling "Allahu Akbar" after the blast.

Prior to Majeed's attack, Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, an al Qaeda-linked Saudi cleric, is seen standing next to Saifullah, and gives a speech to other fighters about the strife with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Al Qaeda's General Command recently disowned ISIS for refusing to mediate its disputes with other jihadist groups.

Muhaysini addresses fighters from numerous countries, and also implores fighters from the ISIS to join the Al Nusrah Front, the Muhajireen Army, and Ahrar al Sham, a brigade in the Islamic Front that is closely tied to al Qaeda, according to a translation by Oren Adaki, a Research Associate at Foundation for Defense of Democracies:

By Allah, oh brothers in jihad, Oh, people of the Caucus! Oh, Iraqis! Oh, Bosnians! Oh, [inaudible]! Oh, Yemenis! Oh, Tunisians! Oh, Moroccans! Oh, Algerians! Oh, all of those who have come to fight in the path [cause] of Allah! Under the sounds of this artillery fire, we have come to fight in the path [cause] of Allah. Here, for the sake of this we have come, not in order for us to fight with one another. My brothers in the state [reference to ISIS] - Allah, Allah! By Allah, the noblest of our wishes is to meet Allah, almighty, feeling accomplished and not regretful. By Allah, we do not want to meet Allah with Muslim blood on our person! Presently the suicide bomber has set out. In a few minutes the ummah will hear his voice, with Allah's permission, raging within the prisons of the rafida [Shiites]. Yes, by Allah, but the booby-traps - when they kill Muslims - what shall we say to our lord tomorrow? What shall we say to our lord tomorrow? I adjure you by Allah, oh mujahideen in the state [ISIS], to join your brothers in Al Nusrah, or your brothers in Al Ahrar [Ahrar al Sham], or Jaysh al Muhajireen, or whoever you want. But do not go on fighting Muslims! By Allah, I bear witness to you in front of Allah, almighty, I adjure by Allah Omar Al-Shishani, I adjure by Allah those faithful mujahideen brothers in the state [ISIS] - the jihad will not stop, the jihad will not stop for the sake of this fitna and for this fighting! Stop this fighting! Do not use the terms bandits and apostates! We are fighting the regime and after that we will turn to these people! Allah, Allah! With Allah's permission we will end this day with cries of Allahu Akbar in the Aleppo prison!

Foreign jihadists fighting in Syria

Several hundred Britons are now fighting the Assad regime in Syria, and some 20 are thought to have been killed there. Wajeed is believed to be the first to have died in a suicide bombing in Syria, The Telegraph reported.

In late January, President Francois Hollande of France warned that as many as 700 Britons have gone to Syria for jihad; British authorities maintained, however, that the number was closer to 350 but admitted it is constantly rising, and that the 350 represents only those persons known to police and intelligence agencies. British authorities made 16 Syria-linked terror arrests in January alone, compared with 24 in all of 2013, The Telegraph said.

Hollande said that about 700 fighters from France are currently in Syria. Two weeks later, on Feb. 12, French counterterrorism judge Mark Trevidic warned that the number of French jihadists is increasing, as a "second generation" has cropped up, spurred by returning jihadists who have encouraged others to join them. He said the newer recruits include females traveling to Syria to marry jihadists, and observed that "[m]ajor events like the use of chemical gases have inspired many people," according to Reuters. Trevidic also noted that the number of persons traveling through France via Turkey to Syria exceeds the number of French citizens reportedly fighting in Syria.

An estimated 15,000 jihadists from Europe, Africa, and the Arab world have joined the Al Nusrah Front and other extremist groups in Syria, the London Evening Standard stated last week. That figure is consistent with an estimate made in December by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation in London that as many as 11,000 fighters from over 70 countries, including many from Western Europe, have gone to Syria to fight.

In late January, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Intelligence Committee that about 7,000 foreign fighters from 50 countries have traveled to Syria, and warned that among the estimated 75,000 to 110,000 rebel fighters there, 26,000 are considered to be extremists, Foreign Policy reported.

Video of "The last operation Emir Saifullah al Shishani"



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READER COMMENTS: "Jihadists release video of British suicide bomber in Syria"

Posted by Kent Gatewood at February 14, 2014 10:00 PM ET:

Will Britain take away their citizenship for fighting in Syria?

Posted by TLA at February 15, 2014 12:09 AM ET:

Did he see Carry on Up the Khyber before joining Bung- It-In and his Burpers? I doubt it, and as such I doubt he should be called British.

Posted by Birbal Dhar at February 15, 2014 8:20 AM ET:

I've seen the video - Are they speaking in Russian or Chechen. Nonetheless it's quite astonishing that Chechnya has 1.3 million people and a significant of their ethnic people are in Syria fighting against Assad. This is possible because there are more ethnic Chechens outside Chechnya than in the state itself. Of course there are many Chechens in Turkey, and Turkey borders with Syria, so it's very easy for someone from that community to travel into Syria. The British national guy must have been in an English speaking division of the Al Khalifa army, as you can tell he doesn't seem to speak any significant Arabic.

Posted by Josh at February 15, 2014 5:29 PM ET:

Very intriguing post. I had definitely not heard about this yet. I had also not heard that the Prez of France had already mentioned that 700 Britons had already left.

Thanks for sharing this

Posted by 5150 at February 15, 2014 8:59 PM ET:

Birbal,

The only aspects of the video that is immediately "astonishing" to me are the facts that the insurgents depicted are entirely capable of small-unit tactics and providing trauma care on the spot; coordinated lateral movement from cover, chest rigs with IFAK pouches, slinging primary weapons to the back before providing medical attention, hand-held cameras with decent resolution to review attacks.

These dudes are hardened fighters.

Posted by Bill Roggio at February 15, 2014 10:40 PM ET:

5150,

Concur 100%. You know when the Chechens are involved, you are getting the jihadi elite. There is a reason why both the ISIS and Nusrah both deploy their elements of the Muhajireen Army to spearhead assaults.

Posted by sundoesntrise at February 16, 2014 2:12 AM ET:

I think that in the current tempo, the Syrian insurgency will eventually morph into one similar to so many other countries, namely Iraq; The insurgents will not have control of many areas, but they will have a presence (which is different from control) in diverse areas spanning from deep rural areas to urban centres. They will conduct bombing attacks against targets of their choosing, and occasionally attack small-medium sized military outposts, with varied success. They will, also, conduct an assassination campaign against regime officials in order to compensate for their loss of territory on the battlefield.

That is my opinion of what the Syrian war will eventually turn into. I base this off reports from a very wide range of sources. I don't think the insurgency will ever really go away in Syria; the rebels will be there for a very long time to harass and attack the regime.

Posted by James Frost at February 16, 2014 5:12 AM ET:

What is jihad?I searched it in the internet and learnt about it.It is not what we see in the videos which terrorist seems to show us in their video acts of terrorism.It is a term for Muslims to do their duty when it needed to be done but it seems to be completely different over the world because of some organizations who uses this religion Islam for their own benefits.Because some of this guys most of the countries are suffering without any reason.What is there future they don't know.What is the solution that is also unknown to everyone.

Posted by Barry Larking at February 16, 2014 12:43 PM ET:

He would rather be dead than British.

Good.

Posted by EDDIED. at February 16, 2014 7:05 PM ET:

All this proves is that murderers of innocent people come from all parts of the world.

Posted by Paul at February 17, 2014 7:28 AM ET:

Not a CIVIL WAR.

Foreign invasion

Posted by sundoesntrise at February 18, 2014 3:54 PM ET:

I always wonder when people claim it is a "foreign invasion", what they think of Assad inheriting power from his father. The Assad regime has been tormenting Syrians since it came into existence, and many Syrians have an extreme hateful grudge against it for it's actions.

Forget the rebels for a moment. Why does Assad get to suppress his own people? Why does he get to inherit power from his father, and then stay in power for decades, maybe until he dies? The "terrorists" will *NEVER* go away in Syria until the root cause of the issue is addressed. It's easy to a white person in a Western country talking about how Assad is such a great guy, meanwhile you are spitting on the memories of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who just wanted a better life.

Posted by Jhon Atto at February 19, 2014 6:29 PM ET:

The word Jihad stems from the Arabic root word J-H-D, which means "strive." Other words derived from this root include "effort," "labor," and "fatigue." Essentially Jihad is an effort to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution. The effort may come in fighting the evil in your own heart, or in standing up to a dictator. Military effort is included as an option, but as a last resort and not "to spread Islam by the sword" as the stereotype would have one believe.
Answer: The Qur'an describes Jihad as a system of checks and balances, as a way that Allah set up to "check one people by means of another." When one person or group transgresses their limits and violates the rights of others, Muslims have the right and the duty to "check" them and bring them back into line. There are several verses of the Qur'an that describe jihad in this manner