Montreal jihadist who burned his Canadian passport is said to be held captive by al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria


In 2016, Safwan Al-Kanadi, identified as Sami Elabi, claimed to have abandoned ISIS and encouraged people to continue fighting, but with other groups or independently, according to reports.

Content of the article

Canadian who fought for Islamic State – and starred in two of the terror group’s propaganda videos before resigning and disappearing – has been held captive by militant group in Syria for more than a year, report says local.

Advertising

Content of the article

“There are no limits to the stupidity of the Islamic State.

Last Thursday, an online report said that Safwan Al-Kanadi, a nickname that takes the designation “the Canadian,” has been held without charge since October 2020 by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, a subsidiary of Al-Qaida in Syria known as HTS.

“Safwan came to Syria a few years ago to help the Syrian people and he fought on the front lines for a while. He was seriously injured at one point where he needed months of medical treatment to regain his health and strength, ”the OGN video report on YouTube said.

Advertising

Content of the article

“Safwan was arrested last year in October,” Bilal Abdul Kareen said in his report from Syria, followed by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a Washington-based nonprofit.

So far, Kareen said in his report, “no one knows if he’s dead or alive.”

“There hasn’t been anything official that has been put forward regarding Safwan, and if there hasn’t been an official accusation, of course, there hasn’t been an official trial.”

Safwan Al-Kanadi, aka Sami Elabi, shows his passport to the camera before setting it on fire and filming it in an image from an ISIL propaganda video. Photo by screenshot
The passport belonging to Safwan Al-Kanadi, aka Sami Elabi, burns before he shoots, in an image from an ISIL propaganda video.
The passport belonging to Safwan Al-Kanadi, aka Sami Elabi, burns before he fires, in an image from an ISIL propaganda video.

Information about Elabi’s detention could not be confirmed. Global Affairs Canada was unable to provide information or comment on the case before the deadline.

Elabi, born in Montreal in 1988 to a Quebecer and a Syrian, left Canada to fight in the Syrian civil war in 2013.

He is said to have first fought with al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nosra before joining his jihadist rivals, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, better known as ISIS or ISIS.

Advertising

Content of the article

In a notorious 2014 video, he presents his Canadian passport to the camera before spraying it with flammable liquid, setting it on fire, setting it on a ledge and shooting it with an assault rifle.

In another video, he is seen helping to blow up a building, in what feels like a planned demolition rather than an attack. He radiates joy and excitement.

  1. Jack Letts, who reportedly left the UK to join the Islamic State (IS).

    “I always had the feeling of being Canadian”: Jihadi Jack hopes to seek refuge in Canada

  2. John Letts and Sally Lane - parents of Jack Letts, often referred to as

    Canada Could ‘Rule The World’ By Bringing Jihadi Jack Here To Face Justice, His Father Says

He documented part of his journey on social media for a while, his initial enthusiasm turning to disenchantment. In 2016, he claimed to have abandoned ISIS and encouraged people to continue fighting, but with other groups or independently, according to reports.

Advertising

Content of the article

His messages were then deleted. He has since disappeared from sight.

In the OGN report, Kareen challenges HTS to provide information on Safwan Al-Kanadi and other detainees, bring them to justice or release them – “and not to torture them or force them to make false confessions” .

“If they are guilty, then there should be no problem putting them before a judge or a panel of judges who can judge their situation in front of people and the evidence can be examined.”

In an image from an Islamic State propaganda video, Safwan Al-Kanadi, identified as Sami Elabi of Montreal, reacts with joy to an explosion destroying a building.
In an image from an Islamic State propaganda video, Safwan Al-Kanadi, identified as Sami Elabi of Montreal, reacts with joy to an explosion destroying a building. Photo by screenshot

Kareem, who appears on camera in English, is an American citizen who was himself detained once by HTS, held for six months and released in February, MEMRI said, describing him as an “American jihadist reporter based in Syria. “.

Kareem did not respond to a request for comment or more information before the posting deadline.

“The OGN regularly reports individuals allegedly detained by HTS, alleging that the militant group tortures detainees to extract forced confessions from them,” a MEMRI briefing said. HTS has not publicly responded to the allegations.

OGN recently highlighted other suspected HTS prisoners, including French and Indian foreign fighters, suggesting that HTS is colluding with Western security forces to prevent foreign fighters from leaving Syria.

• Email: [email protected] | Twitter:

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Check out our community guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Comments are closed.