jeudi 1 mai 2014

Foreign Fighters, Rebel Side, in Syria. 6/Swedes

In April 2013, the Swedish Security Service estimates that 30 people have already joined the Syrian insurgents1. The author of the article's reference on the matter personally identified 18 Swedes, who have certainly left to Syria. Almost all of these people come from the south-western Sweden, and more than half of the suburbs of Gothenburg, the second city of the country. 11 are from the suburbs of Angered and Bergjsön. The bonds of friendship undoubtedly play : three candidates belonged to the same martial arts circle. Other attending a well-known radical mosque in Gothenburg, Bellevue Masjid. Only one of these men had a direct link with Syria, which he joined in June 2013. A third of this Swedes are born in Sweden from immigrant parents. The rest comes from different countries : Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Morocco and even Philippines. Yet at least 10 are of Lebanese origin (2 of which were perhaps Palestinians). One has Swedish origins. These are all men : the average age is 23.5. Most come from families with many children and low-income ; 8 were unemployed or without income of any kind. 8 were also known for crime, including 4 for drug cases and 3 for violence. One of the volunteers, Abo Isa (a Palestinian born in Homs in 1984, emigrated at the age of 8 and who became a Swedish citizen in July 19922), was a hardened criminal : he was jailed three times and was sentenced to a total of 15 times. Haitham Rahma is born in 1960 in a native Syrian family (from Homs), he is an imam of a mosque in Stockhholm. He went to Syria to establish a military structure under the guise of another called Civil Protection Authority ; it is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood but also cooperates with jihadist groups. Rahma was delivering weapons to Syria and raising funds to finance insurgents3.



Of the 18 Swedish identified, 8 were killed in Syria. Abu Kamal suffered a shrapnel tank in Aleppo in January 2013 mid-March, a video presents him as a member of al-Kataib Muhajirin ; a British has also perished during the same operation. Abu Omar was killed in April 2013 by a RPG's rocket ; again, he would have served with a radical group. Abu Dharr, who had conducted the first propaganda video in Swedish, was killed in April 2013. Abu Abdurahmann was killed in June 2013 in the province of Idlib ; he was also part of al- Kataib Muhajirin. Two brothers, Abu Maaz and Abu Osman, also died in Syria. They were killed in an attack on a checkpoint near Abu Zeid regime, close to the Krak des Chevaliers in the province of Homs. Abu Maaz died in driving the car-bomb and his elder in the shootout that followed the explosion ; they served in Jund al -Sham. Another brother was killed 18 months earlier, in 2012, during sectarian clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon. Abu Omar Kurdi was killed in August 2013 during the assault on the Minnagh airbase. In addition to the 8 dead identified, two others might have been Swedish : Adam Sully Wali, killed by a grenade March 29, 2013 (the only Swede who had joined the Free Syrian Army and not a radical group) and Abu Mohammad al-Baghdadi, who was killed in late August 2013. All the Swedes joined, except Wali, radical groups : al-Nosra (as Muhammad Ali Abu Hamour killed April 15, 2013, Mark Abu Osama, a convert of Stockholm after the September 11 attacks, leaving his two wives and his son in Sweden4), Kataib Jund al-Muhajirin and al- Sham. Some even joined ISIS. Many are strongly suspected of war crimes.



A gauche, Abou Maaz.-Source : http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yR6wDnWNflc/Uf00rZs1PJI/AAAAAAAAB_E/V_sUNykazR0/s1600/AbuBrittas.jpg




9 out of 18 Swedes who were identified were also previously linked to terrorism or jihadism. Isa al-Suedi is the younger brother of a man condemned for the preparation of a Mumbai-type attack against a Danish newspaper, with three other men from Sweden. He was arrested at the border with Somalia in 2007 and in Waziristan in 2009. Abu Omar was the son of an Albanian jihadist from Kosovo. One of the uncles of the siblings was imprisoned for participating in the preparation of an attack against trains in Germany in May 2006 ; another was the fourth supervisor of Lebanese group Fatah al -Islam and was killed by the Lebanese army in May 2007. Abu Dharer Filippino announces from Syria in late October 2012 he was trained in Pakistan in 2001 by LeT. He returned to Sweden in spring 2013 and has since made intense propaganda for jihad. The typical profile of Swedish volunteers is quite targeted : a young man, from southwestern Sweden, probably the suburbs of Gothenburg, from a Syrian immigrant family, without employment, already convicted of crime. Friends or relatives can connect to terrorism or jihadism.


Abou Dahrer Filippino.-Source : http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5mrwv7kBRvc/UIxbSM-c5oI/AAAAAAAABRA/NZDBucrbF9k/s1600/Filippino.jpg


According to Per Gudmundson, specialist of the Swedes wo have left to do jihad in Syria, five of them have died in the fall of 2013 on the battlefield. Kassem Hamade, a 22 year old student, was a Swede from Palestinian origin : he was killed in Aleppo in November 2013. Abu Ahmad al Falastini, which is actually called Omar Shahade, also from Palestinian roots, was born in 1987 in Gothenburg. He was the brother of Khaled Shahade (alias Khaled SigSauer) and three of his cousins have also left to Syria, which tends to prove that in the Swedish case, family ties hold a special place in recruitment. Abu Ismail, alias Bilal Sellman, born in December 1994 in the suburbs of Stockholm, left Syria in autumn 2013. He was killed in November 2013. Othman El Khamlichi, alias Abu Tesnim, had already been searched in December 2006 after a police operation in the middle of the Moroccan community : a Swede of Moroccan origin, Ahmed Sofri, was sentenced to prison for having organized the departure of jihadists in Iraq. Othman El Khamlichi was born in 1979 in Tetouan, Morocco. He emigrated to Sweden in November 2003, without taking Swedish nationality, and married a daughter of Sofri. He runs a cleaning business in the suburbs of Stockholm with Makram Ben Salem Mejri, the widow of a dead Swedish jihadist in Iraq. Then he gone to Syria where he was killed just before Christmas 2013. Yassin Ben Salah was one of the founders of the Panthers ( inspired by the Black Panthers ) in the suburbs of Gothenburg. It is linked via Internet with Syrian jihadists since the month of June 2013. Left in Syria in October, he died in December. ; he probably made a first trip after being injured against the regime's troops and be returned to Sweden for treatment. With at least 5 killed, 2013 has been the deadliest year for the Swedish jihadists in Syria - not to mention at least some uncertain cases, such as the Bosnian Alisici Hamza, who said he lived six months in Sweden, Gothenburg without that we can verify its presence on the list of census population5.



Bilal Sellman, jeune Suédois mort en Syrie, quasiment un enfant-soldat.-Source : http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-o1B3LUM5T-I/UvECYZjiH7I/AAAAAAAACHE/n8MWsAtKRzU/s1600/BilalSellmanAbuIsmael.jpg


Abou Tesnim.-Source : http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Ztx6Ob2jP5U/UvEPRQ57EYI/AAAAAAAACHo/GSu2GIgLqV4/s1600/AboTesnimOthmanJamlichi.jpg


On 13 February 2014, two Swedes were killed in Syria, one from Gothenburg and another from Stockholm6. The first, Alaa Yasin, was born in August 1990 parents of Lebanese origin. Yasin was sentenced for a drug case there five years ago. Apparently with no income, he had gone to fight in Syria since the start of 2013 and perhaps as early as August 2012. The second Swedes apparently called Ebu Zubajr and was of Ethiopian origin. Both are killed and bring to 17 the number of dead Swedes in Syria. At this time, an estimated 75 Swedes have traveled for jihad, which indicates a very high mortality among these fighters. For Colonel Johan Wiktorin, from the Swedish army, the number can reach 210, maybe 300 Swedes who have gone in Syria, which denies Gudmundson, which recognizes, however, that its evaluation may be less than the true number7.


Alaa Yasin, le 1er janvier 2013.-Source : http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZSF6PUKati4/Uv3ga4f9uvI/AAAAAAAACJM/XXbarrqO9CI/s1600/AlaaLowLow11jan.jpg



In the beginning of April 2014, a Swedish national, who is reported by Magnus Ranstorp, traveled with Anjem Choudary to Lebanon to protest against the treatment of Sheikh Omar Bakri, who is linked to al- Qaeda. Few Swedish have been linked to Choudary radicals and associated movements, such as Mehdi Ghezali, Guantanamo detainee and student of Omar Bakri. Choudary 's website states that this would be the Swedish nephew of Bakri. This person, in any case, is manifested in opinion pieces and radical Islamist websites, preaching violence, in a form of Sharia4Sweden that suggests that closer links between Choudary and Sweden now exist. Choudary has never been to Sweden, but at the meeting held in Norway, there was a Swede in the room, Abu Dujanah, a young man who comes from Boras (the city from which also comes the Swedish who accompanied Choudary in Lebanon), which is close to the family el Hassan in the same locality, which already has three "martyrs" in Syria8.



1Per Gudmundson, « The Swedish Foreign Fighter Contingent in Syria », CTC Sentinel, Volume 6 Issue 9, septembre 2013, p.5-9.
2Foreign fighters from Western countries in the ranks of the rebel organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad in Syria, The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 3 février 2014.
3Foreign fighters from Western countries in the ranks of the rebel organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad in Syria, The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 3 février 2014.
4Foreign fighters from Western countries in the ranks of the rebel organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad in Syria, The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 3 février 2014.

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