British Muslims Flock to ISIS – Dominic Kennedy
(dailyalert.org, Jun. 25, 2014)
Two British jihadists appeared in a terrorism recruitment video for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the insurgent group now on a bloody rampage towards Baghdad, urging Muslims to fight in Syria. Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, both 20, went to the Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff, which is aligned to the ultra-conservative Salafi wing of Islam. The Salafis have seen their places of worship increase by 50% in four years and are poised to control half the mosques in Britain within a generation.
While in the U.S., 56% of mosque leaders there have a modern outlook, only two out of nearly 1,700 mosques in the UK are controlled by modernists. (Times of London-UK)
See also ISIS Head Is a Terrorist with Gang-Leader Charisma – David Ignatius
A glimpse of the passionate loyalty inspired by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, comes in a recent video made by a 20-year-old Muslim recruit from Cardiff, Wales. “In a few days we will go to Iraq and will fight them and will even go to Lebanon and Jordan, wherever our sheik [Baghdadi] wants to send us. Send us, we are your sharp arrows. Throw us at your enemies, wherever they may be,” pledges the young man to Baghdadi on the video.
Baghdadi’s ability to inspire such intense support worries U.S. officials. His fighters combine a fanatical passion with an unusual degree of organization, technical skill and tactical planning. Baghdadi is creating his own “emirate,” guarded by tanks and heavy weapons, something bin Laden only dreamed of. (Washington Post)
Young Islamists Admire ISIS for Its Brutality – Daniel Nisman and Ron Gilran (Wall Street Journal)
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi could very well take the helm of a reinvigorated global jihadistmovement. Yet despite his rapid rise, al-Baghdadi has crossed several red lines, and his peers have reproached him.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda’s central leadership, remains widely respected across radical networks as the one and only head of al-Qaeda, which itself is perceived as the sole umbrella network of global jihad.
While al-Baghdadi may be viewed with suspicion by the old generation of jihadists,he is rapidly gaining favor among the younger generation, which is struggling to find a sufficiently extremist voice among traditional al-Qaeda branches in the region and beyond.
Several upstartjihadist militias and Salafist movements in eastern Libya, Jordan, Gaza and Yemen have also unilaterally declared allegiance to al-Baghdadi, in some cases claiming to have established ISIS branches in their home countries.
They’ve seen al-Baghdadi’s ability to bring real results in Iraq, while al-Zawahiri hides in Pakistan’s tribal territories.