The son of a British Hollywood director has reportedly appeared in an al-Qaeda propaganda video calling for new recruits to join the Islamic terrorist organization.
Lucas Kinney, the son of the director Patrick Kinney, appears in the video encouraging recruits to join the al-Qaeda affiliated Syrian group Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front) currently fighting Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Army. He addresses viewers in Arabic in front of five other militants.
The 26-year-old became the first known white Briton to join al-Qaeda in 2015 after studying Arabic at Leeds University. As a young boy, Kinney reportedly held ambitions of becoming a Catholic priest or being part of a rock band, but became radicalized after moving to live with his father in Vienna after completing his degree.
Kinney has previously appeared in other propaganda videos under his nom de guerre ‘Abu Basir al-Britani,’ where he discusses atrocities being carried out by Islamic State (ISIS) against his own caliphate.
In another video, he visits a mosque in a Jabhat al-Nusra region of Syria where ISIS carried out another attack, but argues that his “brothers” killed in the attack had an “honorable death” and that “Allah chose to take them in a very good time.”
Kinney’s father, Patrick, has worked as an assistant director on major box office hits such as Rambo, Empire Of The Sun, and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.
“Lucas is a target. I’m glad he’s associated with al-Qaeda rather than IS, but obviously, I worry,” his mother Deborah Phipps told The Daily Mail. “On Mother’s Day last year I spoke to his father and he told me he thought our son was dead because there was a picture of him on the internet lying on a bed in Syria and you couldn’t tell if he was alive.”
“I last heard from him recently,” she continued. “I don’t get anything for months and months and then all of a sudden I get an email and every time I think, ‘Well, at least he’s still alive.’ That’s the relief.”
“We just want him to come home,” she added. “If he’s done something wrong I’d like him to accept the consequences. He’s still young – and at least he’s still alive.”
Around 850 people, most of whom are men, have fled to Syria and Iraq to fight for jihadist organizations. However, nearly all of those individuals were of Muslim or immigrant heritage.