ISIS’ newest recruiting effort spotlights a Canadian who grew up “fishing and watching hockey” before dying on the battlefields of Syria as a jihadist. The New York Times reports:
After Mr. Poulin — later known as Abu Muslim — finishes his monologue, he is seen running through a field in Syria during a siege of an airport, then dying in the battle. A graphic picture of his corpse is shown, and he is hailed as a martyr. He was likely 24 at the time of his death last year.
The video is believed to be one of the first pieces of media in which the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — or ISIS, the group that controls large parts of both countries — used an English-speaking North American to try to lure others to fight on its side. It was distributed recently by a propaganda arm of ISIS, known for having one of the slickest and most aggressive media operations in the Islamic world, according to experts who track jihadist materials.
ISIS has targeted Brits and Australians in previous recruiting videos. There are currently over 3,000 Westerners fighting in Syria, and our intelligence services are having trouble tracking them. Europe has already seen what a threat they pose, when a French jihadist returning from Syria gunned down three people in Brussels’ Jewish Museum.
As the conflict in the Fertile Crescent escalates, the price of ignoring the early stages of the Syrian civil war continues to grow.