Saturday, March 21, 2015

From Minneapolis to ISIS: An American’s Path to Jihad

Abdi Nur, right, posted a photo online from Syria. A friend, Abdullahi Yusuf, left, was stopped as he tried to depart. Top, an image of Western passports put up by a Twitter user who says she is an American with the Islamic State.

By SCOTT SHANE, NYT, MARCH 21, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Reading back over Abdi Nur’s Twitter feed, his chilling progression from the basketball courts of South Minneapolis to the battlefields of Syria is clear.

Early last year, he began posting stern religious pronouncements and snippets of scripture. By April 2, a day after turning 20, he hailed Islamic fighters: “If the sky would be proud of the existence of the stars, the land should be proud of the existence of the Mujahideen.”

On May 29, the day he disappeared, he posted, “I Thank Allah For Everything No Matter What!” Soon he was in Turkey, rebuffing his mother’s and sister’s anguished pleas to come home. In late July, he declared, “What A Beautiful Day in Raqqa,” the de facto capital of the Islamic State in Syria. Last Aug. 7, he posted a picture of himself online with his finger on the trigger of a Kalashnikov.

Mr. Nur had become one of a small number of Americans enticed by the apocalyptic religious promise of the self-described Islamic State, which has seized large sections of Syria and Iraq and claims to be building a caliphate.

(More here.)

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