Posted on Oct 03, 2021
Saudi-born Mohammed Khalifa, a Canadian national who narrated propaganda videos for the Islamic State group, has been charged in the US with providing "material support to a terrorist organisation".
He was seized by a Kurdish-led militia in Syria in 2019 and later handed over to the FBI.
Prosecutors say the 38 year old was the "voice behind the violence". They say he served as an IS fighter before translating and narrating videos. He is to appear before a US court next week on charges of providing "material support to a terrorist organisation".
Khalifa allegedly narrated a series of recruitment videos entitled “Inside the Khilafah” that depicted various aspects of daily life within the Islamic State and featured ISIS members encouraging potential recruits to join ISIS and conduct terrorist attacks against non-Muslims.
The narration in one of these videos encourages recruits unable to leave their home countries to join ISIS in conducting attacks in countries outside the Islamic State, displaying footage of ISIS attacks in Europe, including attacks in Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; and Nice, France.
The video also includes a voice recording of Omar Mateen, the Pulse Nightclub mass shooter, declaring his allegiance to ISIS during the June 12, 2016 terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.
Productions by the ISIS Media Bureau during the time period in which Khalifa was allegedly a prominent member include videos or images depicting: the beheadings of American hostages James Wright Foley, Steven Joel Sotloff, and Peter Edward Kassig; an announcement concerning the death of American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller; the beheadings of British citizens David Haines and Alan Henning; the decapitated body of Japanese citizen Haruna Yukawa; and the beheading of Japanese citizen Kenji Goto.
In a newspaper interview after his capture, Mr Khalifa said he had been a low-level fighter and "just the voice" of IS. He insisted that he had played no role in filming or carrying out the gruesome scenes he narrated.
Khalifa left Canada in 2013 to join IS in Syria, where he became a key member of the group's propaganda team "due in part to his linguistic capabilities as a fluent English and Arabic speaker", according to a US justice department statement.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
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