During their 12-minute appeal for holy war in French the two wispy-bearded young men wearing camouflage fatigues brandish Kalashnikovs as they urge President Hollande to embrace Islam and withdraw troops from Mali.
The people of France are upset. Now? Where were they when Muslims were burning tens of thousands of cars? Where were they when Ilan Halimi was kidnapped and tortured to death by Muslims just because he was Jewish? Where were they when a jihadist, Mohamed Merah, mowed down Jewish children at a Jewish day school?
Why are the French or anyone surprised? Jihad transcends borders, geography, nationality, race — it’s jihad. We hear this time and time again from the families of converts. The family of these brothers said they “underwent what his family said was an overnight change. Nicolas, who now calls himself Abu Abd Al Rahman, announced to the family that he had become a Muslim.”
We heard this same thing from the family of Monica Mansfield Speelman, an American convert killed fighting alongside al Qaeda jihadists in Syria. Melvin Bledsoe, father of the Muslim convert who shot and killed US soldiers in Arkansas, testified at Peter King’s hearings about this very thing.
Convert brothers to Islam call for jihad in France The Times, August 8, 2013
Two fresh-faced French converts to Islam who claim to be fighting in Syria have caused outrage in France by issuing a chilling call for jihad in an internet video.
During their 12-minute appeal for holy war in French the two wispy-bearded young men wearing camouflage fatigues brandish Kalashnikovs as they urge President Hollande to embrace Islam and withdraw troops from Mali. The half-brothers from the southern city of Toulouse, which was the home of the al Qaeda-inspired murderer Mohamed Merah, are believed to be among about 270 French jihadi fighters in Syria, according to French intelligence sources.
“We can expect trouble when they start coming back,” a former intelligence agent said. Many of the French jihadis, and up to 100 Britons believed to be fighting in Syria, were radicalised after attending Arabic language classes, some of which are considered “gateways to jihad” by intelligence services.
The half-brothers, named Nicolas, 30, and Jean-Daniel B, 23, were born to a white French family in a middle-class area. However, when Nicolas was a teenager, he made friends with youths from the drug-blighted Izards estate, where Merah grew up.
In 2009, Nicolas underwent what his family said was an overnight change. Nicolas, who now calls himself Abu Abd Al Rahman, announced to the family that he had become a Muslim. “He went to pray at the mosque at five every morning,” his grandmother said.
By 2011, the family were worried that Jean-Daniel was being led astray by his elder brother. At lunch on Christmas Day, 2012, Jean-Daniel said he had also converted to Islam. “It was a shock,” said their uncle, Jean-Louis. “We realised that Nicolas had managed to recruit him.”
After Merah killed seven people in a shooting spree in March 2012, the family went to the police. Nicolas was placed under surveillance but was never questioned. In March this year the brothers left Toulouse, saying they were going on holiday to Thailand. They took a bus to Barcelona and then a ferry to Tunisia. From there, they flew to Turkey and crossed the border into Syria.
Before posting their video on the internet, they made several phone calls to their father from Aleppo and Homs. Since watching their video, posted last month, he has feared the worst. “Seeing the children you brought up with guns in their hands, prepared to kill people, that’s not what we expected. They want to die as martyrs. They’re off the rails and it could go as far as an act of terrorism,” he said.