Six weeks after being declared dead in combat, a Canadian jihadist has surfaced, alive and well, in a videotaped interview claiming the Islamic State is plotting attacks against the United States.
In an interview said to have been conducted Tuesday by VICE News founder Shane Smith, Farah Mohamed Shirdon said he was injured in the attack that was thought to have killed him but he has recovered.
Shirdon, a Somali-Canadian from Calgary, has reportedly been in Iraq fighting with Islamic State militants since July.
Nathaniel Little, who grew up with Shirdon, viewed the newly released video and positively identified his old friend.
“It definitely was him,” Little told the Calgary Sun. “He was always a very smart guy, so it doesn’t surprise me he’s still alive.”
In the video, Shirdon, who is in his 20s, said he knows militants associated with the Islamic State are preparing to attack the United States.
“God willing, we will make some attacks in New York soon, a lot of brothers are mobilizing there right now in the West, thanks to Allah,” he said, according to the National Post.
When asked by Smith exactly what they were mobilizing for, Shirdon replied: “Mobilizing for a brilliant attack, my friend.”
He went on to say that the goal of the Islamic State is to fly its flag over the White House. He briefly addressed U.S. President Barack Obama personally.
“Whatever regime attacks us, we attack them ... Obama, we will fight you to the end,” he threatened.
He said the Islamic State won’t stop their campaign of terror until they “crucify (Israeli Prime Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu for his war crimes.”
“That's maybe, maybe when we still stop,” Shirdon told Smith, according to the Huffington Post.
Shirdon first drew public attention when he appeared in another video in June. After burning his passport, he vowed to fight the U.S. and Canada.
“After Sham, after Iraq, after Jazeera, we are going for you Barack Obama,” he said in the older video.
Little said he still didn’t understand how his friend went form being a popular student at their local high school to what he called an “ill-minded” extremist.
If he could talk to him today, Little said, “I’d ask him what motivates him and if he has any remorse for what he’s put his family through.”
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