Islamic Centre Leader Arrested After Training Students To Become Jihadists

People pray during a celebration of Eid al-Fitr marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in Saluzzo, near Turin, on July 17, 2015. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr this week, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan during which followers are required to …

An Islamic cultural centre leader in the Italian city of Foggia was arrested this week after allegations of ties to the Islamic State terror group and accusations he had been radicalising children with pro-Islamic State propaganda.

Abdel Rahan Bdel Mohy Eldin Mostafa Omer, originally from Egypt, taught Islam lessons at the Al Dawa cultural centre in Foggia and also served as the president of the centre. He has been accused of pushing students toward joining terror groups and participating in Jihad Il Fatto Quotidiano reports.

The 58-year-old is said to have told his students, “I invite you to fight the unbelievers, with your swords cut off their heads, with your explosive belts you blow up their heads. It is necessary to break the skulls of the unbelievers and drink their blood to obtain victory.”

Prosecutors also said that Omer sent out various videos through social media and mobile apps like Whatsapp to students containing material that told the students they had an “obligation to destroy churches and turn them into mosques, identifying Italy as the target of terrorist activity.”

Official Islamic State propaganda material was also found at the residence of Omer along with images and films of children enlisted by the terror group carrying out brutal acts of violence.

The arrest is not the first in which a radical Islamic extremist has been accused of trying to radicalise children to fight for the Islamic State.

Earlier this week 25-year-old Umar Haque was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a UK court for attempting to radicalise children as young as 11 for the terror group. Haque, like Omer, taught children at a local mosque, but in contrast, had been plotting a terror attack against several targets including Shia mosques, Heathrow Airport, and the Queen’s Guard.

Last month in Germany, another radical Islamic extremist was arrested plotting a terror attack against a synagogue in Berlin. It also emerged that he had attempted to train and radicalise the seven-year-old son of his girlfriend as well.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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