Canadian man who voiced IS propaganda films pleads guilty | DW | 11.12.2021

A Canadian jihadi who traveled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) group nearly a decade ago pleaded guilty on Friday, the United States Justice Department announced.

Mohammed Khalifa, 38, served as one of the group’s prominent English-language propagandists, narrating violent propaganda videos.

He admitted to “conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, resulting in death,” at a hearing in US District Court in Alexandria.

The Saudi Arabia-born Canadian citizen will be sentenced on April 15, 2022, the department said in a statement.

English-speaking IS propagandist

Khalifa left Canada in 2013 to fight for the IS in Syria after being inspired by the lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US cleric who later became a leading figure in al-Qaeda, according to court records.

By the following year, he had become a key member of the IS propaganda team because of his fluent English and Arabic.

The propaganda cell was behind the gruesome videos showing the beheading of foreigners, including US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

“Khalifa provided the narration and translation for approximately 15 videos created and distributed by ISIS,” the department statement said, using another acronym for the jihadist group.

He also narrated two violent and influential propaganda videos produced by IS — “Flames of War” in 2014 and “Flames of War II” in 2017.

These two films were used for recruiting people to the terrorist group or inciting them to kill Westerners as part of an international terror campaign.

No remorse

Khalifa also fought on the battlefield, prosecutors said, and was captured in 2019 by Syrian Defense Forces.

He was held overseas, including in a Syrian prison before being brought to Virginia earlier this year to face charges.

In an interview with Canada’s CBC, he showed no regret for his actions. Khalifa said he wanted to return to Canada to be with his wife and their three children, but on the condition that he would not be tried.

adi/rc (AFP, AP)

Read More: Canadian man who voiced IS propaganda films pleads guilty | DW | 11.12.2021

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