A Muslim community leader has spoken of his shock and sadness at hearing the revelation that a teenager from northern Scotland was found to have been in the process of indoctrination by Islamist extremists. It is understood that the Inverness teenager’s own family contacted police and local Muslim leaders after they recognised the signs of radicalisation in their son.
The Press & Journal reports the 18 year old, whose family has settled in Inverness, was thought to have strayed down the path of extremism while on a trip to London to study English. He returned to his family in Scotland following the intervention of police and local Muslim leaders.
Fortunately for the boy and his family, he had not yet been sufficiently indoctrinated to attract criminal proceedings. In being so lucky he sits in contrast to Syed Choudhury, the radicalised 19 year old from Cardiff who plotted to go to Syria to fight for Islamic State (IS) and said “gay people should be killed and go to hell.” Yesterday, day one of his Old Bailey trial, British-born Choudhury entered a guilty plea to charges of preparing acts of terrorism.
The youngster from Inverness would have followed in the footsteps of another northern Scottish jihadist who fought for IS in Iraq last year. Bangladesh-born but Aberdeen-raised Abdul Raqib Amin vowed to die for his beliefs in a recruitment video, advising: “If you sacrifice something for Allah, Allah will give you 700 times more.”
A week later an Iraqi Army SWAT team obliged him when he was killed fighting government forces near Ramadi, 75 miles west of Baghdad.
Habib Malik, a close friend of Abdul Raqib Amin’s father, expressed his concern at the latest potential IS recruit. Malik, a former chemical engineer, now promotes cultural diversity in Scotland attempting to unite communities through “engagement and respect.” He said:
“This is deeply worrying. Previously we had Raqib, which was a huge shock. I don’t know the circumstances of the Inverness case, but any element of radicalisation of someone in Inverness is just shocking.
“In a global village, with the internet, it is so easy now for individuals living in remote areas to connect with other parts of the world and get hooked up with the wrong club. It’s disturbing…
“Parents try to keep an eye on their children, especially with the internet and so many communication channels available nowadays. It is difficult to monitor.”