Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Somali-Canadian fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria
Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgarian in his early 20s, is fighting overseas with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Shirdon, who was enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology until at least 2012, appeared in an ISIS video released two months ago.
Before burning his Canadian passport, Shirdon, in full view of the camera lens, issues a threat to Canada, the U.S. and “all oppressors.”
“We are coming and we will destroy you by the will of God,” Shirdon says on the video.
He comes from a prominent and well-educated Somali family. His father’s brother, Abdi Farah Shirdon, was a former prime minister of Somalia who has survived numerous attempts on his life by al-Shabab militants fighting for an Islamic state in Somalia under the banner of al-Qaeda.
Shirdon’s mother and sister live in Calgary and are deeply involved in the religious life of their community.
His family told CBC TV news when reached out to them that they “confused and pained by Farah’s choice,” before asking for privacy.
Though it’s unclear how real his threats are, Shirdon is the latest young man from Calgary to be identified as a Canadian fighting overseas.
In January, the CBC’s first reported on the death of Damian Clairmont, a 22-year-old Canadian-born Muslim who left Calgary for Syria in 2012 and was killed by rebel infighting there.
The television also reported on Salman Ashrafi, a Calgary man involved in a November 2013 suicide mission in Iraq under the banner of ISIS.
This latest development on young Somalis joining radical groups comes as western countries such as UK and US where quite number of Somali refugees’ lives takes steps to prevent more infiltration by Al Shabaab militant groups to the Somali youths in the country for possible terror threat.
Security agencies believe that a number of Somali youths have travelled to Somalia to join the group while some were killed fighting along the group back home.
The intelligence agencies of these respective countries have been also accused of harassing Somali youths who refuse to spy for them in the community.