IRAQ

British and Australian holy warriors in video urge fellow Muslims to sign up to jihad

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 5:10am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 5:10am

Five Islamist fighters identified as Australian and British nationals have called on Muslims to join the wars in Syria and Iraq, in a new video released by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The online footage, titled "There is No Life Without Jihad", showed the five militants sitting in a rural area and holding rifles with al-Qaeda's black flag flying behind them.

They called on Muslims to join ISIL in jihad, or holy war. A song in the background urged "the lions of God to travel to the land of Sham (Syria) and the Euphrates (Iraq)".

"We are a State who is implementing the sharia (Islamic law) in both Iraq and Sham (Syria), and look at the soldiers - we understand no borders," one fighter said in English. A caption said he was Abu Muthana al-Yemeni from Britain.

"We have participated in battles in Sham, and we will go to Iraq in a few days, and we will fight there, Allah permitting, and come back, and we will even go to Jordan and Lebanon, with no problems," he said, adding that the best land for jihad was Syria.

The other militants were identified as Abu Bara' al-Hindi and Abu Dujana al-Hindi, also from Britain, and Abu Yahya al-Shami and Abu Nour al-Iraqi, both from Australia. A caption said Abu Yahya had been killed fighting in Syria.

British media yesterday said al-Yemeni was a would-be medical student, Nasser Muthana, 20, from Cardiff, Wales.

His father, Ahmed Muthana, told the BBC his other son had gone with Nasser, and that someone must be "driving" them. He told the BBC that another man in the video was someone he recognised from Cardiff.

ISIL, which is also fighting in neighbouring Syria, includes thousands of foreign fighters and has become a magnet for jihadi volunteers from Europe and North Africa, Western intelligence agencies say.