British and Australian militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in a new video extolled the benefits of joining the jihad in Syria and Iraq — benefits supposedly ranging from the return of an Islamic caliphate to curing depression.
The English-language video, titled “There Is No Life Without Jihad,” is clearly aimed toward encouraging Muslims from Western countries to travel to the Middle East and join ISIS.
“We understand no borders,” said a British militant identified on the video as Abu Muthanna Al-Yemini. He said he and his comrades have been fighting in Syria, but soon would move to the Iraqi battlefield, where major cities have fallen to the Sunni extremist group in recent weeks.
“And we will even go to Jordan and Lebanon with no problems, wherever our sheik wants to send us,” he said. “We hope in the khilafa [caliphate]. It’s imminent.”
Another ISIS fighter claimed medical benefits to joining ISIS, a group designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization and which has been documented repeatedly carrying out war crimes including extrajudicial shootings, beheadings and crucifixions.
“The cure for the depression is jihad,” the ISIS recruit said. “Oh my brothers, come to jihad, and feel the honor we are feeling. Feel the happiness that we are feeling.”
The Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks extremist groups, posted the video on its website after it appeared on jihadist forums Friday.
The father of Abu Muthanna — whose real name is Nasser — told the BBC that his son disappeared several months ago along with his 17-year-old son after being offered a slot to study in four different British medical schools.
He described the elder son as quiet, well-educated and intelligent. The father told the BBC he feared his sons would "come back to me in a coffin."
Abu Dujana al-Hindi, a Briton, said in the video to Muslims back home in Europe: “Look around you while you sit in comfort and ask yourselves, is this how you want to die?”
“Your family, your wife, these people whom you claim to love, if you really loved them, then martyrdom is what you do for them,” al-Hindi added. “It’s you that needs jihad. We just want to meet our Lord. We just want to give our blood and use our bodies as a bridge from khilafa [caliphate]. ... Khilafa is close, so ask yourself, either you can be there in these golden times ... fighting [for Allah] or be on the sidelines commentating in the land of kuffar [infidel].”
“Are you willing to sacrifice the fat job you’ve got, the big car you’ve got, the family you have? Are you willing to sacrifice this for the sake of Allah?” asked Abu Bara Al-Hindi, also from Britain.
An Australian recruit summed up the sales pitch.
“The reasons for coming to jihad are plenty,” said the fighter, identified on the tape as Australian Abu Nuor al Iraqi.
The father of Abu-Muthanna told the BBC that his son disappeared without saying where he was going.
"When I saw [the recruitment video] on the television, I thought, 'What is he doing there?'" he said.
According to the BBC, an estimated 500 British citizens are fighting with Islamist militant groups in Iraq and Syria.
Here is the recruitment video courtesy of MEMRI: