Testimony: Canadian citizen (Jamal Abdulkader?) killed in suicide bombing attack in Syria
Jonathan D. Halevi
The Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV channel, affiliated with Hezbollah, broadcast on, Thursday (May 30, 2013,) an interview with Mohammad Ismail Saleh Jarallah (محمد إسماعيل صالح جارالله), a would-be suicide bomber, who was captured alive by Syrian troops. Jarallah, also known with his nom de guerre Abu Qa’aqa’ (أبو القعقاع), is a Jordanian citizen who joined the ranks of Jabhat al-Nusra, the leading force of the Syrian rebels and affiliated with al-Qaeda. Jabhat al-Nusra was designated in 2012 as a terrorist organization by the US.
In October 2012 Jarallah infiltrated into Syria and met several operatives of Jabhat al-Nusra in a school in the village of Maaraba (معربا) located north of Damascus. According to Jarallah, four operatives were foreign nationals, one German and the other Turkish, Qatari and Saudi.
After undergoing semi- military training Jarallah was dispatched on February 21, 2013 for carrying out a suicide bombing attack in Damascus with two other operatives: Abu Dajana (أبو دجانة), Canadian citizen, and Khatab (خطاب), Palestinian who lived in Jordan. Abu Dajana was assigned to park a vehicle laden with explosives in a predesignated spot near military target, and then leave as soon as possible the area. The plan went wrong as the vehicle driven by Abu Dajana exploded prematurely killing him and injuring badly Jarallah who was unable to detonate the explosives in his vehicle.
Jamal Muhammad Abdulkader (محمد جمال عبد القادر), Canadian born and Montreal resident, was officially reported as missing since February 21, 2013, the same day the suicide bombing attack was carried out in Damascus, which also claimed the life of dozens.
On that day Abdulkader’s cellphone stopped transmitting signals, and his parents received a phone call from Syria informing them that their only son was killed in battle in the area of Damascus. According to one of his relatives, Jamal gave his “brothers in arms” his home phone number and instructed them to contact his parents in case he was killed.
In mid 2012 Jamal Abdulkader, then a student, left Canada to join the ranks of the Free Syrian Army. After few months spent in the Allepo area, it is reported that Jamal joined a radical Islamic organization called “The Liberators of Greater Syria” (Ahrar a-Shaam) and fought against Assad troops in the area of Damascus.
One of the Syrian fighters who knew Jamal recounted that after a telephone conversation with his parents, during which they tried to convince him to return to Canada and complete his university studies, he tore up his Canadian passport, deciding to commit himself totally to fighting within the ranks of jihad. Jamal’s parents, Muhammad and “Um Jamal”, were born in the Kurdish village of Juwiq near the City of Efrin in northern Syria. They moved with their three children, Yasmine (later married to Alex Sidou), Noura (graduate student also known as Nouna Abdul) and Jamal, to Germany and lived there for 7 years, and then immigrated to Canada and settled in Montreal.
Abu Dajana mentioned by Jarallah as a participant in the suicide bombing operation in Damascus on February 21, 2013 may turn out to be Jamal Mohammad Abdelkader.
In addition, according initial reports two more students who studied in Canadian universities were killed in Syria in March 2013. Both are Libyan citizens who enlisted to Jabhat al-Nusra. One of them is Jamal al-Ratimi (جمال الرتيمي), reported as a former dentistry student in Canada. Their Canadian citizenship status is unknown.
The interview with Jarallah is available here.