What a difference five years can make. That’s all one can think when looking at the pictures left by Adel Kermiche on two long abandoned Facebook accounts. “You’re looking too cute”, a girl friend commented on a photograph that showed him at fourteen years old, with a somewhat shy smile and a T-shirt telling: “Nobody is perfect”. It was all very true.
Five years later, that same boy stormed the church in his town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, took five people hostage, and together with a comrade that he barely knew — Abdelmalik Petitjean — he slaughtered an 85 year old priest in the name of the Islamic State.
Below we publish some pictures and posts from the mentioned Facebook accounts — one of which was bearing his true name, while the other was named “Dédél C’qwa Ton Blem” — for the sake of history. As shocking as it may be to see the contrast between then and now, so good is it to realize that almost every terrorist once has been the sweet and dearly beloved child of someone.
This is the oldest picture of Kermiche, according to the date it was posted at least. Posing on a motor cycle of a friend apparently, because Kermiche wasn’t old enough himself to drive on October 8, 2010.
Kermiche posing with keffiyeh and Armani shirt on December 18, 2010.
On his account with alias Dédél C’qwa Ton Blem, Kermiche liked to appear as a deejay. This is the profile picture he used. “Dédél” certainly refers to his name, while “C’qwa Ton Blem” is French teen slang for “What is your problem?”
While posting this picture on December 29, 2010, Kermiche asked his friends to vote for him in the contest ‘Mister Facebook Normandie’.
With the flag of Algeria on his cap. Posted on February 5, 2011.
He clearly liked to alter his pictures digitally, as can be seen here. All three were posted in 2011 — the first two on his Dédél account, the third on that with his true name.
Posing fancily dressed in his bedroom, it seems. Posted on May 8, 2011.
Kermiche did not comment on this picture, posted on August 21, 2011. But a girl friend wrote in French: “You’re looking too cute”, adding a tongue-out emoji.
“WAHT’S IM BUTIFUL (=NO=) ?” Kermiche wrote in broken English under this picture, posted on October 15, 2011.
“Bang Bang Atitude GiRLS!” was his comment here, written on that same October 15, 2011.
This picture was posted on November 28, 2011. “I think I look like Dewey from Malcolm here” he commented with a smiley — referring to the role of American actor Erik Per Sullivan in the television series ‘Malcolm in the Middle’.
Based on recently updated figures of foreign fighters in the current Syrian-Iraqi conflict, this is the per capita ranking for 84 countries of origin. Given is the number of fighters per one million inhabitants, calculated at the high end estimates of people who at least have tried to reach the battle zone. For the complete set of figures and some important notes, please visit thecountofemmejihad.wordpress.com.
1. Tunisia 543.61
2. Maldives 508.58
3. Jordan 257.34
4. Kosovo 160.34
5. Lebanon 145.52
6. Saudi Arabia 108.10
7. Libya 93.58
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina 87.92
9. Turkmenistan 68.81
10. Belgium 52.01
11. Albania 48.86
12. Montenegro 46.36
13. Morocco 45.01
14. Trinidad and Tobago 40.90
15. Georgia 40.56
16. Macedonia 33.40
17. United Kingdom 31.21
18. Azerbaijan 30.67
19. Sweden 30.61
20. Austria 30.00
21. Turkey 29.05
22. France 28.20
23. Denmark 26.87
24. Kuwait 25.46
25. Palestine 24.49
26. Tajikistan 24.41
27. Germany 22.26
28. Netherlands 20.65
29. Kazakhstan 19.28
30. Finland 18.26
31. Kyrgyzstan 17.65
32. Uzbekistan 17.12
33. Norway 13.44
34. Russia 11.94
35. Australia 10.99
36. Luxembourg 10.52
37. Serbia 9.75
38. Bahrain 8.91
39. Switzerland 7.26
40. Qatar 6.83
41. Somalia 6.59
42. Algeria 6.32
43. Ireland 6.13
44. Yemen 4.11
45. Egypt 4.07
46. Malaysia 3.28
47. Indonesia 3.13
48. Spain 2.89
49. Canada 2.85
50. Sudan 2.77
51. United Arab Emirates 2.60
52. Pakistan 2.51
53. Israel 2.48
54. China 2.19
55. Philippines 1.98
56. Estonia 1.58
57. Afghanistan 1.54
58. Italy 1.41
59. Bulgaria 1.39
60. New Zealand 1.35
61. Mexico 1.23
62. Ukraine 1.13
63. Portugal 1.11
64. Slovakia 1.10
65. Poland 1.04
66. Latvia 1.01
67. United States 0.93
68. Mauritania 0.56
69. Argentina 0.53
70. Jamaica 0.34
71. Oman 0.30
72. Moldova 0.28
73. Croatia 0.22
74. Brazil 0.18
76. South Korea 0.14
77. Romania 0.09
78. Iran 0.06
South Africa 0.06
81. Madagascar 0.04
82. Bangladesh 0.01
Published already a while ago, this tribute to former Shariah4Belgium leader ‘Abou Mujahid’ contains some unseen images — literally from his childhood to his grave.
Please do realise it is showing his dead body too. Reminder: ‘Abou Mujahid’ was killed last summer fighting in Syria. His real name was Noureddine Abouallal and he was one of the three Shariah4Belgium leaders after the arrest of public face Fouad Belkacem — a.k.a. Abu Imran.
Originally posted on YouTube by user Nusrah Bil-Jihaad and backed up here.
Will the Prime Minister ever admit that they have met? – A eulogy for ‘Shariah4Belgium’ leader Abu FarisPosted: 2014/02/18
A few hours ago, a eulogy was published in Dutch on the Facebook page ‘Free Aseer Abu Imran’, ran by supporters of ‘Shariah4Belgium’. It’s about Feisal Yamoun from Antwerp, also known as Abu Faris. He was a leader of the extremist organization who died this month in Syria. Here is a quick translation of some excerpts.
“A mercy for the Ummah, a nightmare for the enemy, an example for the worshippers, an ordeal for the cowards and a softener of the heart for the oppressed. This is a short description of my brother, my companion, my hero, the hero of islam and the lion of the Ummah, Feisal ‘Abu Faris’ Yamoun.”
“Who was he? May Allah be pleased with him. He was born 30 years ago in an affluent neighborhood of Berchem. He grew up in the Antwerp diamond district. At a young age, he already was aware about the prayer. After his studies, he started as a student coach in different school of Antwerp. He has always had a tendency to speak with young people.”
“Then he started to work as an event planner for political venues and sport events. He has met the most famous Belgian politicians and athletes. Will Secretary of Defence Pieter De Crem or the Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters ever admit that they have met Abu Faris? A successful businessman with a brand new BMW and a bright future, as he once was described by his former colleagues.”
“At one point, he began to delve into the faith by listening to the wonderful lectures of Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki. He decided to start living for the hereafter instead of this humiliating world. He sold his house, his expensive car and began his blessed journey into Islam. I ask you by Allah, how many people do you know who sell their home because they seek the satisfaction of Allah?”
“He did establish a system of one month working and one month studying. Like that, he gathered knowledge, while we sometimes didn’t understand why he had suddenly disappeared. He only stayed at home in order to study, subhanallah.”
“In 2010, he and Abu Imran decided to proclaim the dawah of tawheed openly. He was the sahib of Abu Imran, wallahi Abu Faris and Abu Imran were complementary. I’ve never seen a couple of brothers being complementary as they were in my entire life.”
“May Allah gather both brothers under his shadow on the day there is no other shadow than that of him. They came together purely for the love of Allah, may Allah reward them. Abu Faris is yet another proof that it aren’t the marginal, the future-less, and the low lifes who were doing dawah and hijra fi sabilillah after that. By Allah, they are the best of this pernicious society. Abu Faris truly enchanted the brothers with his wonderful character and sublime charisma.”
“One day, he went to the Moroccan consulate in Antwerp, asking for a Moroccan passport. Normally people have to wait one or two months for that, but when they learned who he was, they gave to him after only two weeks. Those taghut even were wishing him a good trip. When asked why he did so, he said: ‘I gave those idiots false hope. Now they think I’m going to Morocco to be tortured. Let them wait for me!’ How we laughed with Abu Faris! May Allah smile at him just like he did make us smile.”
“Abu Faris also was a specialist in counter-espionage. He had all sorts of gadgets to make the kuffar mad. He made several recordings with hidden cameras during his meetings with politicians and secret services. The proces against Abu Imran will be exciting when those recordings will be surfaced.”
“This is really not an exaggerated glorification, we are Allah’s witnesses on earth. May Allah bless his mother for having shared a pearl like him with us. Media have done everything in their might to marginalize Abu Faris. They told he terrorized the Seefhoek quarter with his two pitbull’s. But how can someone who lived all his life in Berchem in the heart of the diamond district terrorize the Seefhoek? It’s a gang of vulgar liars!”
“The vision of Abu Faris was unbelievable. He wanted neither unskilled criminals, nor highly educated traitors to the faith, but a new generation of confident, skilled and dedicated mujahideen. That was the vision of this strategist. Abu Faris was a statesman, one who looked for the best for the Ummah and not the best for himself. Allah did test him during his dawah, people have boycotted him from all sides. He even lost his job through intimidation by the state security and the bank did freeze his accounts. Only because he openly proclaimed the word of Allah.”
“When Allah saw that his servant was this strong and steadfast, he chose him for his army in Bilaad As-Shaam. His blessed army, his blessed flag and his blessed aim. Abu Faris had a slogan in his life: “Dress yourself with new clothes, be thankful to Allah and die as a martyr.” He lived and died in accordance with that.”
UPDATE: ‘Free Aseer Abu Imran’ has published a brochure with the eulogies for Abu Faris, Abu Atieq and Abou Mujahid — all three Shariah4Belgium leaders killed in Syria
A few hours ago, a eulogy was published in Dutch on the Facebook page ‘Free Aseer Abu Imran’, ran by supporters of ‘Shariah4Belgium’. It is learning a little bit more about Ahmed Dihaj (32) from Antwerp — a.k.a. Abu Atieq Al-Maghribi — one of the lesser known founders of that extremist organization who died last fall in Syria. Here is a quick translation of some excerpts.
“Brothers and sisters, Allah blessed us with a lion who had the heroism of thousand men, in spite of his fine stature and quiet character. May Allah have mercy on this brother and accept him as martyr. Many people didn’t know him, but for us Abu Atieq was a very special person. He was a soft, patient, quiet and enduring brother. An accountant by education, he worked as such for many years. But he quit when he had heard that a witness of Riba is also liable to Allah. How many muslims do you know that drop years of education, a career and a decent monthly pay merely for the pleasure of Allah? May Allah have mercy on you, Abu Atieq. You revived the values of Shariah by your sincerity.”
“Abu Atieq reminded us of the scholar and mujahid Anwar Al-Awlaki. They had a lot of physical characteristics in common, and if we look back at the life of Abu Atieq we can not fail to make the link with Anwar again. He lived in America as a proclaimer and a defender of the faith, then did hijra to Yemen where he received martyrdom insha Allah. Abu Atieq lived in Belgium as a proclaimer and defender of the deen, emigrated to Bilad ash Shaam where he got the martyrdom of His Lord.”
“Abu Atieq was the definition of fortitude itself. He was arrested more than anyone else for his faith. Each time the brother came out with his wife in niqab, they were checked and arrested. However, it didn’t stop them remaining steadfast and continuing their faith. How many weak brothers have shaven their beards because they experienced some discrimination in their daily lives, and how many sisters undressed themselves for study or work?”
“He reminds me of Muadh ibn Jabal, he was skinny but his ankles weighed heavier than Mount Uhud, as the prophet said about him. Abu Atieq had a less robust health, but his dawah, his incitement to do good and fight the evil was remarkable. Belgium should mourn these young people, they are the best young people among the muslims and non-muslims. If you view their ethics, dedication and sacrifices, you can only be surprised about this generation.”
“Abu Atieq was a man of few words but of great deads. Each time the brothers were harassed by the police, it was Abu Atieq who took the lead. He went to the front in order to protect them against arrests and fines. May Allah protect you in your grave like you protected your brothers in this world. Let the world know that we love Abu Atieq for the cause of Allah!”
Yesterday, a few more details emerged about Abu Baraa al-Jazairi, the Belgian-Algerian emir of the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS) who has been killed last Wednesday in Saraqib in Syria’s Idlib province.
A Belgian ISIS supporter, using the alias ‘Souf Al Casawé’, wrote the following message on his Facebook page — only available for friends, but rapidly shared by others: “He was killed in a vicious manner. Ahrar al-Sham and Suqur al-Sham invited him to discuss and negotiate, but at the first checkpoint of Ahrar he got shot in the arm and robbed of his kalashnikov. They did let him go, but then he stumbled on a checkpoint of Suqur where he was slaughtered with a hand gun.”
In a statement of the ‘Syrian Revolution General Commission‘ — an adversary of ISIS — that was published on the website ‘All4Syria’, Abu Baraa is described as a graduate of a Belgian university with a Masters degree in engineering. “He lived only briefly in Belgium after his graduation.”
According to that source, Abu Baraa did not hold an official status in ISIS, but he managed the local organization of foreign fighters. “Shortly after his arrival, he started to establish cells in a number of rural areas in the Idlib province and naming others as emirs on top of them.” Reportedly, he was also known as ‘the fox’ for his genius in complex operations and intelligence.
His first operation in Saraqib apparently happened in July of last year, when he raided the city’s media centre and kidnapped the Polish journalist Marcin Suder. “He continued to terrorize the city”, the statement says, “with a keenness for carrying out public executions of people deemed infidels and traitors.”
Wednesday’s brutal killing of a British soldier in London is proving once again the dangers of the European shariah movement — as I wrote today in Belgium’s largest daily newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws‘. That movement was longtime considered as an annoying but basically harmless phenomenon within the islamist scene. As it was operating fully in the spotlights, nobody thought it ever would be the continent’s main recruiting ground for violent jihad. But now it is.
Michael ‘Mujahid’ Adebolajo (28), one of the two perpetrators from Nigerian descent who nearly decapitated and savagely killed Drummer Lee Rigby (25) on a Woolwich street, was a disciple of Anjem Choudary. No doubt — Choudary did confirm that the guy was one of his followers in the movement Al Muhajiroun, and the BBC unearthed video footage showing both men in one single frame during an islamist manifestation in April, 2007.
On top of that, I discovered that Abu Baraa — ‘nom the guerre’ of Mizanur Rahman, another British hate preacher — told about his own relation with Adebolajo on his Facebook account. “I remember Mujahid was protesting outside the court when I went to prison back in 2006”, he wrote shortly after the Woolwich attack. “He was arrested that day defending Muslims too. He always had the concerns of Muslims at heart.”
Both Choudary and Rahman are proponents of the European shariah movement with direct links to the Belgian chapter. Choudary was the mentor of Shariah4Belgium’s founder Fouad Belkacem and it is a public secret that Choudary pushed Belkacem to launch the organization in the city of Antwerp and thus expand the British born movement to the European continent. He did visit Shariah4Belgium in person for lectures, as did Rahman.
Rahman was four years imprisoned in Britain for inciting to murder — but freely traveled to Antwerp in June 2012 in order to initiate Shariah4Belgium’s members in “Military Tactics”, as his lecture published on YouTube was titled (the video has been removed, but I have it in my archives — see a screenshot here). Nowadays, one of Rahman’s Facebook friends is Fakkul Aseer — campaigner in Dutch to “Free Abu Imran”, a reference to Belkacem’s second arrest in short time — and another is the Antwerp neighborhood Borgerhout’s resident who changed his name as I was writing from ‘Ansaar Antwerpen’ to ‘Soufian Soufian’, and is clearly a member of the same scene.
There is not the slightest proof yet that the Woolwich murderer Adebolajo had significant contacts abroad. But he clearly did belong to an international orientated part of the British islamist scene. Last example: Abdulrahman Al-Mujahir, a Facebook friend of Abu Baraa, Fakkul Aseer and Soufian Soufian. He too knows Adebolajo rather well, as he wrote: “He is a very polite, courteous and caring brother from my experience with him.”
The Woolwich attack is a new example of the small scale terrorism that Al Qaeda is promoting nowadays, with perpetrators not necessarily belonging to a well organized network. But they are not as lonely as the often used expression ‘lone wolves’ seems to implicate. They do find encouragement and practical help on the internet — in the notorious magazine ‘Inspire’ for example, that already explicitly called for attacks against soldiers in western countries.
‘Lone wolves’ often find their inspiration in real life too. In groups that cannot be pinpointed as terrorist organizations, though they are not far from that and do facilitate the way towards the real jihad. Such as Shariah4Belgium, with it’s knife wielding follower attacking two police officers in Brussels last year — a case which easily could have been as serious as the Woolwich one. It surely is remarkable how often groups related to and sharing the same dna as Shariah4Belgium, appear to be the circles were lone wolves do come from.
That was the case with Mohamed Merah, the French muslim who killed seven people last year — clearly targeting soldiers too. He was at least loosely associated with Forsane Alizza, the French equivalent with personal links towards Shariah4Belgium. It was also the case with Arid Uka, the guy who killed two American soldiers in Frankfurt, and is said to be inspired by ‘Millatu Ibrahim‘, the German sister organization. And now the same can be told about the London attack.
For European security services, this new reality is a nightmare. Apart from the difficulties to detect a terrorist plot that is not that organized — as often is highlighted when speaking about the characteristics of ‘lone wolf attacks’ — with this kind of recruiting ground it is also terribly hard to distinguish were bluff and provocations end and real threats start.