Extremists from Britain who have already arrived in the Middle East are now using social media to encourage others back home to follow suit.
They advise people to travel light and bring a smart phone for internet access, but to leave religious books at home to avoid suspicion at the airport.
Advice: Abu Abdullah is believed to be one of a group of men from Portsmouth who flew from London Gatwick to Turkey before crossing the border into Syria to join ISIS
Plea: The jihadist is appealing for young British men to travel to Iraq and Syria as quickly as possible. He claims entry routes in the region could soon be closed by security forces
The Islamists also highlight the need for visas for those heading to Turkey on route to neighbouring Syria.
They explain how money can be exchanged for local currency once in Syria but also suggest bringing extra cash in case of a delay crossing the border in Turkey.
The militants even detail the type of plug adaptors new recruits will need to charge their electronic devices.
One British jihadist, who goes by the alias Abu Abdullah al-Brittani, uses the Ask.fm website to advise would-be militants in the UK.
Abdullah is believed to be one of a group of men from Portsmouth who flew from London Gatwick to Turkey before crossing the border into Syria to join ISIS.
Many of them use the name al-Britani or al-Brittani, which identifies them as jihadists from Britain.
He is fighting close to the border with Iraq, where Isis has taken control of a number of major cities.
The militant told one user not to worry about getting a foreign mobile phone SIM card because they will not get any signal.
But he added: “There r internet cafes and houses of dawlah [Isis] with internet so just make sure inhave [sic] a smart phone to connect to wifi’.
Abu Abdullah Al Brittani (left) is believed to be part of a group of men who flew from London to Turkey before crossing the border into Syria. He is in near-constant contact with the likes of Abu Hussain Al Britani (right) – another British militant believed to be somewhere in the ISIS-held regions of Syria and Iraq
The young British jihadists use social media to promote their message and boast of their brutal activities in the hope of encouraging others to travel to Iraq and Syria
Returning home: The men repeatedly make threats about coming back to the UK once they are finished fighting
They claim the West is scared of the young jihadists’ arrival back home after leaving Iraq and Syria
When asked where an ISIS fighter can leave their luggage, Abduallah responded: ‘Travel light akhi [brother] is my advice’.
He continued: ‘TBH its not great idea to have Islamic books in ur luggage, wen u get here u can downloaded them from pdf’.
Abdullah, who is in his mid-20s, urged travellers to also delete ‘jihad pics’ from their phones in case they are searched. He added: ‘Be careful is my advice I would delete them kinda things’.
Another Briton fighting with ISIS has also been offering travel tips on Ask.fm, a website popular with young people.
Under the name Abu Dujana he was asked if it is stupid for someone to bring a laptop with them.
Dujana, believed to be a 19-year-old Muhammad Hassan from Portsmouth, replied: ‘Make sure theres no Islamic stuff on it, even peaceful Islamic stuff, but could possible raise suspicion.’
He was also asked whether the electrical plugs over there have two or three pins. Dujana said: ‘Two, but don’t get the USA 2 pin types, they’re different.’
CAR BOMB IN BAGHDAD’S SHI’ITE DISTRICT KILLS 12 AS ISIS PLANS WAVE OF ‘GUERILLA-STYLE ATTACKS
A car bomb in Baghdad’s Shi’ite Sadr City district killed 12 people and wounded 30 in a crowded outdoor market, police and hospital officials said.
No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, but attacks targeting Shi’ite districts are routinely the work of Sunni militants, who in the last week have captured vast swathes of the country and are pressing towards the capital.
The bombing came as an expert warned the insurgency by ISIS is likely to morph from its current lightning offensive to guerrilla-style warfare as the militants encounter tougher resistance around Baghdad.
Scene of devastation: No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, but attacks targeting Shi’ite districts are routinely the work of Sunni militants
Dr David Roberts, a lecturer in international relations and security in the Gulf region at King’s College University based in Qatar, believes ISIS have ‘no real aspiration’ to take Baghdad, but would instead aim to ’cause havoc and increase divides’.
He told MailOnline: ‘It doesn’t strike me as a realistic aim. They are crazy in one sense of course, but have thus far been making rational intelligent strategic decisions.
‘Committing forces to take Baghdad, which is what you’d need to do to take it, is not a good use of their resources.’
As Iraqi officials trumpet plans for a counter-offensive, doubts are growing that Iraq’s security forces can hold back the tide.
However, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said Iraqi troops, with help from Shi’ite volunteers, were ‘stiffening their resistance’ around Baghdad.
‘It certainly appears as if they have the will to defend the capital,’ he said.
Abu Abudullah explained that money can be exchanged in Syria, and added: ‘Remember money for the stay in Turkey coz things may get delayed there so make sure u have enough for there.’
Asked how much money he took with him, Abdullah wrote: ‘Not much several hundred, u dnt need much, u get wages here, u get food provided and place to stay.’
One user even queried whether they can buy the latest phones, such as the Samsung S5, in Syria.
Abdullah replied: ‘Yes u can but they are way more expensive than other countries and it might not be the original. Best thing is buy it from where u coming from.’
Another asked if he needs to keep his phone switched off while fighting, to which Abdullah said: ‘Its best u keep if off brother. All u want to focus on is battle. It could be ur last moment”.
The rise of ISIS in Iraq has seen Shiite tribal fighters (pictured) take up weapons in defence. Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms over the weekend
15,000 FIGHTERS, 1,000 ASSASSINATIONS AND 4,000 IEDS: ISIS PUBLISHES ‘ANNUAL REPORT’ OF ITS REIGN OF TERROR
The Islamist militant group ISIS publishes annual reports detailing its reign of terror across the Middle East, it has been revealed.
In 2013 alone, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, says it has carried out nearly 10,000 operations in Iraq, 1,000 assassinations, planted 4,000 improvised explosion devices and freed hundreds of radical prisoners.
Isis also claims to have turned hundreds of ‘apostates’ and says it now has at least 15,000 fighters in its ranks.
Details of the report emerged as new information about the way ISIS is funded and attracts recruits came to light, with reports suggesting widespread support in South East Asia, particularly Indonesia – the country with the world’s biggest Muslim population.
Details: The Isis report uses graphics to detail the group’s reign of terror in the Middle East. This chart shows the number of explosives detonated in 2012 and 2013
The reports for 2012 and 2013 have been analysed by the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War.
It is believed ISIS compiled the reports to attract potential donors and to paint a picture of a well-organised military group with a clear political strategy.
Nigel Inkster, former assistant chief of UK intelligence service MI6, told the Financial Times: ‘They produce [the reports] almost like a company, with details of martyrdom operations and targets. You have a clear overlay of structure, planning and strategy to the organisation.’
The documents also clearly mark out that the group’s long-term intention is to control the Sunni-populated areas of Iraq.
Financially, it is believed the group had already been extorting taxes from businesses in Mosul before the Isis takeover and netting about £8million.
Out of the 15,000 fighters Isis has at its disposal, 12,000 of them are believed to be from outside Iraq and Syria – the majority of these from neighbouring Middle Eastern countries.
However, an estimated 2,000 are believed to have arrived from European countries, including Britain, with a growing number of arrivals from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
It is from this South East Asia connection that Isis now attracts much of its funding, according to a report in Time.
The claim is that, as jihadist movements in Malaysia and Indonesia weaken thanks to arrests of high-profile Islamists in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombings, extremists in South East Asia are now looking towards the conflicts in Iraq and Syria as an outlet for their anger and finances.
Highlighting the importance of social media, he added: “It’s a valuable tool for recruitment if anyone wna [sic] join and to show the real ISIS, and clear any dirty lies the western media says about us”.
The fighter added social media is used by the militants to “scare disbelievers” and show off their “military achievements” – such as its recent advance in Iraq.
He has also given advice to a user who wanted to know if the tattoos he got before he converted to Islam would be a problem.
Abdullah responded: “No problem akhi [brother], its no thing. Many brothers ive seen from jahaliya [sic, jahiliyya (ignorance)] have it.
“U wnt be punished or looked down upon for something in jahaliya or wen u wer a kafir [unbeliver].”
The Isis fighter claimed he was stopped on the Syrian-Turkey border by Turkish military but was let through after a translator outlined his intentions.
He has also used the website to describe the weapons used by Isis fighters, writing: “Every foot solider has a AK47, these guns win wars, they easy to maintain, useable in every weather condition, last long time, good accuracy, powerful gun alhamdulilah [thanks to God]”.
ISIS FAR FROM THE ONLY THREAT: SEVERAL OTHER SUNNI MILITANT GROUPS ARE ALSO ACTIVE IN IRAQ
Although ISIS have dominated media reports of the insurgency in Iraq, they are far from the only Sunni force operating in the country.
At least half a dozen Sunni militant groups are active in Iraq and, although ISIS’s brutality makes them the most feared force, Hassan Hassan writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says they may not be the strongest.
This jihadist militia was established in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2001 as a Salafist Islamist movement that imposed a strict application of Sharia law in villages it controlled around Biyara to the northeast of Halabja, near the Iranian border. The U.S. Government has called Ansar al-Islam a terrorist organisation linked to Al-Qaeda.
Military Council of the Tribes of Iraq
A coalition of nearly 80 tribes, the group has a strong presence in Sunni-dominated areas such as Fallujah and Ramadi. Within the collective, there are estimated to be around 41 armed groups, including former members of Saddam Hussein’s army.
Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order
Allegedly headed by former Iraqi vice president Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the group is said to consist of thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party, as well as supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
With strong roots in the Sunni communities – especially in Mosul – the Naqshbandis rival ISIS in terms of numbers.
General Military Council of the Iraqi Revolutionaries
Another group dominated by former Baath party members, the GMCIR claim to be stronger and better equipped than ISIS. They claim, however, to adhere to the principles of Geneva Convention, and have described ISIS forces as ‘barbarian’ for not doing the same.
The Islamic Army
Another large armed force, the Islamic Army are believed to have prevented ISIS entering the town of Dulu’iyya last week. They have wide support in the area north of Baghdad.
Armed Sunni tribal groups not affiliated with any wider movement are said to control areas such as Alam, Hajjaj, al-Bu Ujail and parts of Mosul. However in al-Wahda, Sukkar, Baladiyat, tribal forces are believed to have allied with the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order.
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