It’s a mystery how middle-class Calgary man turned suicide bomber was recruited into ISIS terror group: family

More on the cases of Salman Asrafi and Damian Clairmont:

“To be honest, we don’t know what happened to Salman,” a relative said in an email exchange. He asked not to be identified because he did not want to be associated with Mr. Ashrafi’s suspected involvement in terrorism.

While his recruitment into ISIS is puzzling, it is evidence the strength of the extremist group is due partly to its recruitment of foreign fighters. Founded by Al-Qaeda members, it is one of three armed groups in the region that have attracted the most outside volunteers.

Mr. Ashrafi was a Pakistani-Canadian with no affiliation to Iraq. But in Calgary, he had apparently fallen in with a circle of extremists who lived in the same apartment building above a small Islamic centre. Those who run the centre said they had tried to discourage the zealous young men, but they formed their own prayer group.

According to an account posted online by one of the men, who now goes by Abu Dujana, they worshipped Anwar Awlaki, the pro-Al Qaeda propagandist whose videos urge Muslims in the West to either go abroad and fight or conduct terrorist attacks at home.

Isolated by their own accord and with no guidance except the Internet, they decided that being a Muslim meant “jihad and sacrifice for Islam” rather than attending seminars in “an air-conditioned university hall,” wrote Abu Dujana.

The historical figures they admired were uncompromising men of action. “They were not just talking the talk,” he wrote, “but actually walking the walk. They were busy either killing the enemies of Allah or being awarded with martyrdom by being killed in the battlefield.”

There were between three and five members of the group. They included Damian Clairmont, a Muslim convert with a history of mental problems, but another was an engineer named Wassim who divided his time between Toronto and Calgary.

Under the Government’s proposed revocation measures, if they hadn’t been killed, but returned to Canada, and convicted, Salman could be stripped of his Canadian citizenship as a dual national while Damian could not. Same crime, different punishment.

It’s a mystery how middle-class Calgary man turned suicide bomber was recruited into ISIS terror group: family | National Post.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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