A Scottish jihadist who appeared in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruitment video last month urging young Western Muslims to perform their duty of Jihad in Iraq and Syria and to has been killed, it has been claimed.
Twitter accounts associated with ISIS members fighting in the region appeared to indicate that Abdul Raqib has been killed fighting Iraqi government forces in the town of Ramadi.
Abdul Raqib Amin, thought to have been 26 and from Aberdeen, was reported to have been shot dead Tuesday by an Iraqi Army SWAT team.
Under his nom de guerre, Abul Baraa, he had joined ISIS, an extreme militant group, and pressed others to follow suit, saying: “If you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more.”
Abu Dujana al-Muhjahir, a 19-year-old from Portsmouth and another ISIS convert, confirmed Amin’s death in fighting near Ramadi, 75 miles west of Baghdad, via his Twitter account.
Al-Muhjahir wrote: “About 2 months ago I was in Halab and spent some time with new muhajireen who were waiting to begin training.
“I met brothers of various nationalities including 2 brothers from UK. In Raqqa just an hour ago I bumped into a tunisi from this jama’ah. He gave me the news that one of the two British brothrts (sic), Abul Baraa had been martyred in Ramadi, Iraq whilst fighting Iraq SWAT forces. A very humble and pious brother who came to Dawlah [Islamic State] despite all ‘Jihadi’ peers in UK advising not to. May Allah accept him as a shaheed.”
Raqqa, where Dujana claims to have heard news of Amin's alleged death, is considered the capital of the ISIS’s “caliphate.”
The embattled city of Ramadi, however, is in Sunni-dominated territory, but remains under the control of Shii'te-led Iraqi government. Baghdad’s reliance on Shi'ite volunteers to fight Sunni militants is stoking fears Iraq could fall a major sectarian civil war.
The chaos in Iraq makes it impossible to independently verify this news, but a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said it was informed of reports of the decease of a British national in Iraq. “We stand ready to talk to any family who may be affected,” he furthered.
As a child, Amin relocated with his family from Bangladesh to Aberdeen, where they joined a local mosque. Amin’s parents are thought to have owned a takeaway restaurant for years, before returning to their country of birth.
He stayed in the city, co-habiting a flat with a woman relative at the end of a cul-de-sac. From there he went from job to job, including work in a spice shop, as a pizza delivery boy and in a salon, according to The Times.
According to friends in Aberdeen Amin was as a keen footballer and a cricket fan, “a normal guy” who liked music and going out – a blunt contrast to the Jihadi shown brandishing a submachine gun in the recruitment film titled There is No Life without Jihad.
The Imam of Aberdeen Mosque where Amin used to worship, said Tuesday he had “no idea” about the most recent development.
Iman Ibrahim Alwawi said: “I don’t know anything about what’s happened. He used to come here but he left with his family a long time ago. Our message is clear and our statement is clear - we don’t promote any extreme views or ideas inside the mosque.”
In the ISIS video Amin said: “Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you’ve got, the big car you’ve got, the family you have? Are you willing to sacrifice this, for the sake of Allah? Definitely, if you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more than this.”
An FCO spokesman said: “The UK is deeply concerned by the growth of terrorism in Iraq and Syria, which threatens the people in the entire region and the UK. The UK advises against all travel to Syria and much of Iraq and anyone travelling to these areas is exposing themselves to serious risk.’’