Danish-speaking Salafist incites jihad in Syria
Justice minister and leading terror expert concerned after the emergence of what appears to be the first video to actively recruit Danes to Syria
In a YouTube video, a Danish-speaking Islamist calls for jihad in Syria (Screenshot: YouTube)
While the internet is awash with Islamists advocating jihad in the Middle East, this week marked the first emergence of video targeting a Danish-speaking audience.
Danish-speaking jihadist Abu Khattab has uploaded a video on YouTube, calling on his “brothers” in Denmark to participate in the Syrian civil war. The video, which appears to have been recorded in Syria, features Khattab next to a masked warrior with a rifle as he speaks of jihad as "the forgotten implication" and encourages Danish Muslims to join him in a holy war.
”We were given everything in Denmark. Our parents paid everything for us, we were given bread and milk for free, but the [the infidels] could not deceive us," he says in the video. "My dear brothers, jihad is the greatest reward. Your blood will smell sweet. Your imam will appear before you as a luminous bubble. My dear brothers and sisters in Denmark, you should come too. This is the best thing to do, to strengthen the Islamic people and the Islamic state,” Khattab proclaims in the video.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Copenhagen Police and domestic intelligence agency PET have been secretly investigating Islamic organisations with links to Syria. PET’s latest threat assessment revealed that at least 65 Danes have participated in the conflict. At least five of them are known to have been killed.
The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), is concerned that the new video will appeal to Danish Muslims. He warns against acting upon Khattab’s request and joining the fighting in Syria.
“My message is clear: stay far away from him and far away from Syria,” Bødskov told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “We are working closely with intelligence agencies of other countries, and the police are investigating these communities intensely.”
Magnus Ranstorp, the head researcher at the Swedish National Defence College and a renowned terrorism expert, also said that the emergence of a Danish-language jihadi video was troubling.
When such a video in Danish urges Muslims to go to Syria, it has a different character than foreign videos," Ranstorp told Politiken newspaper. "There is much more of a personal touch and it can increase motivation and create a familiar atmosphere around the notion of travelling to Syria."
Khattab's nationality has not yet been confirmed, but he is known to be in contact with radical Muslim groups based in Denmark. He has made several radical video speeches on his YouTube channel, many of which have been shared by the Salafist group ‘Kaldet til Islam’ (Called to Islam), a group known for supporting the opposition in Syria.
See the video below: