British Kurdish ISIS fighter executed for spying
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A British Kurdish Islamic State recruit from Coventry was executed by the jihadist group after being accused of providing information to intelligence officers, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
Mohammed Ismail, a Kurdish British national nicknamed Osama bin Bieber on social media because of his youthful looks, was killed after confessing to giving away information regarding the tightly-guarded movements of Nasser Muthana, an aspiring doctor from Cardiff who became a leading Islamic State recruiter and propagandist.
Details are only emerging now despite it being believed the execution took place in late 2016, a few months after Muthana was killed.
Muthana, who had been on a Pentagon “kill list,” was reportedly eliminated by a precision strike in a street in Mosul around May 2016, the organization’s former stronghold in Iraq. Another jihadist from Australia was also killed in the attack.
According to one account, Ismail was killed in Raqqa, and the retaliatory execution was filmed.
“They did have an interrogation with him. He confessed everything, and then they killed him,” a source told the newspaper.
Soon after arriving in Syria in 2014 at the age of 18, Ismail is thought to have been badly injured in battle, and after that became an Islamic State police officer.
Investigators with the terrorist group believed Ismail might have started talking to intelligence officers in late 2015 or early 2016, through some sort of intermediary.
Ismail was said to have been radicalized by extremist clerics at a madrassa (religious school) in the city of Coventry and traveled to the Middle East with three other men, the Daily Mail reported.
He was not the only Kurd to have joined the Islamic State. About 400 to 500 Kurds from different countries are thought to have joined the jihadist group, but most were allegedly killed in battle.
Some, however, were recently captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the battle of Baghouz, which ended on March 23.
Discussing Islamic State recruitment tactics, Kurdish researcher and lecturer in sociology at Soran University, Ibrahim Malazada, recently told Kurdistan 24 that there are large numbers of Muslim residents in European cities who often feel marginalized.
“They can recruit younger people in Europe because they are feeling they are a minority,” he explained.
He also listed as a factor European religious freedom laws which often recognize the right of religious extremists to preach their ideology in mosques.
“In UK, in London, for example, the majority of mosques are under the hegemony of Salafists,” he continued.
“They are everywhere, and this is very dangerous.”
Editing by Nadia Riva