As many as 300 Britons are still fighting with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, a recent defector from London has revealed, amid growing concern the jihadists are plotting attacks on the UK.
Stefan Aristidou, 23, from Enfield, was arrested last week in the southern Turkish town of Kilis, three miles from the Syrian border, after surrendering to authorities.
Speaking in an interview before crossing into Turkey, Aristidou said there was “somewhere between 250-300” British Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters remaining – some in Iraq but most of whom are operating in Syria.
Large numbers of foreign fighters and sympathisers are abandoning Islamic State and trying to enter Turkey, with at least two British nationals and a US citizen joining an exodus that is depleting the ranks of the terror group.
Stefan Aristidou, from Enfield in north London, his British wife and Kary Paul Kleman, from Florida, last week surrendered to Turkish border police after more than two years in areas controlled by Isis, sources have confirmed to the Guardian.
Dozens more foreigners have fled in recent weeks, most caught as they tried to cross the frontier, as Isis’s capacity to hold ground in Syria and Iraq collapses. Some – it is not known how many – are thought to have evaded capture and made it across the border into Turkey.
Online commenters have praised an anonymous hacker’s efforts to disrupt the Islamic State militant group’s social media accounts by filling them with gay porn.
The hacker, who goes by the name WachulaGhost, started targeting the Isis accounts after being deeply affected by the notorious shooting at the Orlando Pulse nightclub in Florida in 2016, in which 49 people were killed and 53 wounded.
Isis later claimed responsibility for the massacre, carried out by US citizen Omar Mateen.
An all-female division of an ISIS-affiliated hacking group released a video online claiming to have hacked multiple social media accounts.
The “Al Khansaa Kateeba” (battalion), which claims to be a division of the notorious United Cyber Caliphate (UCC) released the video over the weekend glorifying the recent launch of its all-girl division, threatening anyone exposing information on individuals within the group.
“Shortly after the announcement of the creation of a brigade that consists of female cadres within the ranks of the team, the muwwahidat answered the call and formed a force that disturbs the kuffar and made them sleep deprived,” the video, posted to an encrypted Telegram channel as well as on YouTube, stated.
The United States has disclosed a secret military ground operation in Syria that killed an Isis operative seen as a close associate of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and linked to an attack on a Turkish nightclub that left 39 people dead.
Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during the ground assault near Mayadin on 6 April, said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command.
“It was a ground operation. I think that’s all we’re willing to say about that,” Cnl Thomas said, declining further comment. He specified that Uzbeki did not die in an airstrike.
On a morning in late March, 20 children are standing between bombed houses and burned-out cars in front of an elementary school on a street in eastern Mosul. When you ask them what they learned inside, they talk about killing. Their teacher was Islamic State (IS), which had a stronghold here. “Daesh, Daesh,” the children shout, using the Arabic pejorative for IS, with strong, excited voices, as if the sound concealed an unbelievable secret.
After the Islamic State (IS) militant group declared its responsibility for Palm Sunday’s deadly attacks that targeted two Coptic churches in Egypt’s Delta and Alexandria city, several media figures and organiztions launched severe attack against Egypt’s largest religious institution, Al-Azhar University, considering its teachings as fostering religious extremism.
Through these outlets, Al-Azhar is now facing the backlash of taking part in supporting the IS-affiliated members through its insistance to refuse considering the IS group as ‘apostates’ and through maintaining some extremist teachings in the programd that are taught to its students.
The backlash criticized the educational syllabuses that are being currently taught in Al-Azhar institution that include teachings from some prominent clerics. These teachings directly incite the brutal killing of anyone who does not follow Islam or who had been deemed to be an ‘infidel’.
The criticism, released from those figures and other media outlets, accused the aforementioned teachings of Al-Azhar by increasingly contributing to generate numerous members affiliated to IS.