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UK doctor Issam Abuanza joins ISIS; Urges British medics to do the same

Abuanza is said to have filled his ISIS registration forms when he crossed into Syria to join them on July 26 2014.

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ISIS group members with their flag. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Issam Abuanza (37) is the first ever doctor to join the ISIS. He fled UK in 2014 by allegedly leaving his wife and two children behind in Sheffield. A practicing doctor with the NHS (UK) for seven years, he received his licence to practice medicine in the UK in 2009, according to a British tabloid.

Abuanza posted shocking images on social media wearing an army uniform and clutching an AK-47 while reading the Koran. Another photograph shows him wearing doctors’ scrubs with a gun in a holster slung over one shoulder.

Issam Abuanza. Image source newsoneplace
Issam Abuanza. Image source: newsoneplace

When his sister Najla was asked about the kind of person he was, she said, ‘He used to be quite the dashing young man, very modern. I’ve no idea how he became like this or who showed him the path to terror. They will never forgive him. My dad’s wish was to see him before he dies. He has spent all his money on him and his education and this is what he does.’

Abuanza is said to have filled his ISIS registration forms when he crossed into Syria to join them on July 26 2014.

According to the leaked recruitment ISIS papers, he said he had specialized in endocrinology- treating hormone related diseases. Abuanza was very active on social media, frequently writing messages in support of ISIS and attempting to recruit other British medics until October 2015.

Celebrating the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris, in which 12 members of staff from the satirical magazine were murdered, he wrote a Facebook post which read ‘Praise be to God for this terrorist act,’ he wrote. ‘God kill off their enemies, military and civilian, men and women, adult and children.’ ‘I would’ve liked for them to burn him extremely slowly and I could treat him so we could torch him once more,’ he wrote about the death of the captured Jordanian pilot who was murdered by ISIS fighters.

Social media found him celebrating even more when 11 British medical students left their studies and joined ISIS on March 2015. ‘Just two days ago I was the only doctor in the ambulance, and I was very shocked and sad, then suddenly 11 Sudanese doctors entered the territory. You don’t know how happy I was with them’ he wrote. In another post from November 2014, he said ‘We need doctors in Syria, in all specialties. Mainly vascular surgery, thoracic surgery and anesthesia.’

An ISIS doctor explaining the technology used in their hospitals. Image source dailymail
An ISIS doctor explaining the technology used in their hospitals. Image source: dailymail

The current whereabouts of Abuanza are unknown as he has not published anything on social media since October 2015 when he was living in Deir Ezzour province in eastern Syria. A man claiming to be a doctor, with a strong British accent and calling himself Abu Amir al-Muhajir, spoke in a propaganda video released by ISIS in June 2015 calling for British medics to join him in Syria.

Abuazana is believed to have been one of the British medical students who abandoned their studies in Sudan to join ISIS. He declared at the beginning of the video that he was appearing ‘on behalf of the doctors and medical council here in wilayat al-Kheir [Deir Ezzor province] in the Islamic State’.

Being proud of the medical services being provided in the state, the doctor gives a speech urging Muslims with skills in medicine to join ISIS. Appealing to the Muslims in England, he calls the Islamic State as ‘a great cause being fought here’.

-by Vrushali Mahajan

Vrushali is pursuing her graduation in Journalism and is an intern at NewsGram. 

Twitter handle: Vrushali Mahajan 

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  • Pritam Go Green

    This is highly disheartening. One side people are fighting against ISIS and on another side people are joining ISIS. These terror groups are dragging Muslims with them. Now every Muslim is looked as if he/she is a terrorist. This should not happen as everyone is not the same.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Life savers joining life takers is a new level of cruelty coming up these days. This should not be accepted by anyone, even in the name of religion.

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  • Pritam Go Green

    This is highly disheartening. One side people are fighting against ISIS and on another side people are joining ISIS. These terror groups are dragging Muslims with them. Now every Muslim is looked as if he/she is a terrorist. This should not happen as everyone is not the same.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Life savers joining life takers is a new level of cruelty coming up these days. This should not be accepted by anyone, even in the name of religion.

Next Story

British Visa Process May Have Been Compromised Due To Russian Infiltration

Bellingcat and The Insider quickly exposed the agents' real names.

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Police officers stand outside the City Stay Hotel used by two suspected Russian military intelligence agents — who have been accused of attempting to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia — in London, Britain. VOA

Investigative group Bellingcat and Russian website The Insider are suggesting that Russian intelligence has infiltrated the computer infrastructure of a company that processes British visa applications.

The investigation, published Friday, aims to show how two suspected Russian military intelligence agents, who have been charged with poisoning a former Russian spy in the English city of Salisbury, may have obtained British visas.

The Insider and Bellingcat said they interviewed the former chief technical officer of a company that processes visa applications for several consulates in Moscow, including that of Britain.

Russia, Twitter, British
The Internet Research Agency building, dubbed the Russian troll factory, is seen at Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia. VOA

The man, who fled Russia last year and applied for asylum in the United States, said he had been coerced to work with agents of the main Russian intelligence agency FSB, who revealed to him that they had access to the British visa center’s CCTV cameras and had a diagram of the center’s computer network. The two outlets say they have obtained the man’s deposition to the U.S. authorities but have decided against publishing the man’s name, for his own safety.

The Insider and Bellingcat, however, did not demonstrate a clear link between the alleged efforts of Russian intelligence to penetrate the visa processing system and Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepiga, who have been charged with poisoning Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March this year.

The man also said that FSB officers told him in spring 2016 that they were going to send two people to Britain and asked for his assistance with the visa applications. The timing points to the first reported trip to Britain of the two men, who traveled under the names of Alexander Petrov and Anatoly Boshirov. The man, however, said he told the FSB that there was no way he could influence the decision-making on visa applications.

British
British Columbia is willing to hire numerous skilled personnel for their technical industry. Pexels

The man said he was coerced to sign an agreement to collaborate with the FSB after one of its officers threatened to jail his mother, and was asked to create a “backdoor” to the computer network. He said he sabotaged those efforts before he fled Russia in early 2017.

Also Read: Heavy Cyber Attacks From Russia, US, China In India

In September, British intelligence released surveillance images of the agents of Russian military intelligence GRU accused of the March nerve agent attack on double agent Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. Bellingcat and The Insider quickly exposed the agents’ real names and the media, including The Associated Press, were able to corroborate their real identities.

The visa application processing company, TLSContact, and the British Home Office were not immediately available for comment. (VOA)