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‘Ex-Soccer Player’ Releases Jihadi Video in Syria

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Videos have surfaced of a man claiming to be a former footballer for the London Premiership Club Arsenal who now fights as a Jihadi for ISIS in Syria. He turned away from a lavish western lifestyle two years ago when he became radicalized.

He now goes by the name Abu Issa al-Andalusi. He did not reveal his previous name. ISIS fighters almost always use a pseudonym.

His fellow fighters report that he used to play football with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo while growing up in Portugal before moving to London and signing with Arsenal. British police are investigating the claims. 

He released two videos on FiSyria, a website that posts Jihadi propoganda for a russian speaking audience. Clad in a blalclava and wielding an AK-47 he exhorted Muslims to wage holy war against the Infidels. He calls on Muslims in the west to come to Syria and fight, asking if they want to be humiliated and serve the kaffirs (a derogatory racial epithet for non-Muslims). Boasting of ISIS successes, he asks for all kinds of assistance and explains the importance of Jihad in a broken English accent.

MEMRI, an organization that monitors Arabic media for terrorist incitement has attested to the reliability of the website and featured the video on their website.

Arsenal has stated they did not recognize him and have no record of him ever playing for the club, although they acknowledge that he could have changed his name.

Osama Bin Laden was reportedly an Arsenal fan when he lived in London in the 1990s.

British security services estimate that there are some 250 British fighters in Syria. Under the terrorism act, fighting in Syria is illegal, and Jihadis face arrest and potential lengthy prison sentences on their return.

 

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