The first live captured suicide bomber known to be working with the Islamic State in Syria says the area is teeming with jihadists from all over the world– from everywhere in the Middle East, Asia, and the West. In an exclusive interview with the UK’s Sky News, 23-year-old Horr Jaffer from Chechnya explains how he and many others landed in the hands of the terrorist group.
Speaking to Sky News’ Stuart Ramsay in Russian, Jaffer– who survived an attempted suicide bombing and was captured shortly after– said he was impacted by how many international recruits had come to Syria to help the Islamic State’s jihadist mission. “There are nations from all over the world there. There is British amongst them. They are from Asian countries, Europe and America. From everywhere,” he explained.
He added that socializing with other jihadists often proved difficult to communicate with other jihadists in Syria, as they came from so many different parts of the world and spoke different languages.
Jaffer told Sky News he joined this Islamic State terror group after his father, sister, and six other relatives were killed in Syria, all believed to be jihadists and some, specifically, suicide bombers. He appeared not to have any information regarding the core workings of the Islamic State, including such basic information as the alleged establishment of a caliphate during the beginning of Ramadan this year.
The Islamic State’s expansion in Iraq and Syria has in large part been a success of their recruitment effort, which has aggressively targeted Western Muslim men. In June, then-ISIS launched an English-language propaganda project named Al Hayat Media, dedicated to bringing the jihadist message to America, the UK, Australia, and other English-speaking countries. In addition to showcasing English-speaking jihadists from those countries claiming to have found joy in terrorism, jihadists from all over the world have appeared in Islamic State recruitment propaganda, including as far-off countries as Chile and Indonesia.
By August, reports surfaced that the Islamic State had begun expanding at a “record rate,” both due to an expansion into recruiting Westerners and through fierce competition with groups like al Qaeda for jihadist fighters. It is believed that more than 6,000 men joined the Islamic State in July. While most recruiting targets men, some notable instances of female Islamic State recruits include Denver teen Shannon Conley and UK citizen Sally Jones, a former rock musician who is now calling publicly for the beheading of Christians.