New Worry: More Militants Speaking English

Officials fear Western militants could bring extremism back with them

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2013 7:16 AM CST

(Newser) – The new terrorism worry: English-speaking militants. Reuters takes a look at the reported rise of just such extremists, pointing to European intelligence sources who say dozens of British men are believed to be in Syria, many possibly fighting with a rebel group with ties to al-Qaeda in Iraq. Reuters also zeroes in on the increasing use of English in jihadist videos, specifically calling out two recent ones: One featuring a man who introduced himself as Abu Ahmed al-Amriki (Arabic for "the American"), and a video in which a fighter threatens Bashar al-Assad in English spoken with an American accent. The developments are fueling fears that these English-speaking recruits could eventually return to the West.

English-language jihadist literature is also flourishing, and taking a very Western approach. Reuters explains that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has not only published a new issue of Inspire, but has also recently produced the Lone Mujahid Pocketbook, which asks: "Have u been lookin' 4 a way to join the mujahideen in frontlines? Well, there's no need to travel abroad, coz the frontline has come to you ... Just read 'n' apply the contents of this guide."

A man calling himself an American mujahid posted a video in February which appears to show him fighting with Syrian rebels.
A man calling himself an "American mujahid" posted a video in February which appears to show him fighting with Syrian rebels.   (DJIGIT I)
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