Wednesday January 23, 2019
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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

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.

SHARE
  • 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

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May Survives Through Vote Of No-Confidence

If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?

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Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in parliament Wednesday, one day after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against her plan to divorce Britain from the European Union.

Surviving the vote enables May to refocus on getting a Brexit deal through parliament. She has until Monday to offer a new proposal to the House of Commons, but it isn’t clear what she will propose.

Shortly after the 325 to 306 vote allowing May to remain in office, she invited party leaders for Brexit talks Wednesday night.

More talks?

May said before the vote Wednesday that Britain would leave the EU on the March 29 target date, and that the bloc would only consider extending the negotiating period if there were a realistic exit plan.

Aides to the prime minister said she will try to buy more time and return to Brussels to try to cajole EU leaders into a renegotiation.

EU leaders have repeatedly rejected the possibility of renegotiations since the deal was concluded in November, but British officials hope Brussels now may offer enough concessions to secure parliamentary backing on a replayed vote on an amended deal.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labor Party, filed a motion of no confidence in the government immediately after the result Tuesday.

Britain would have held a general election had May lost the vote. Most analysts said they expected her to survive the vote, and the minority Northern Ireland party she relies on to keep her minority government in office had said it would back the government.

Tuesday’s vote was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers — including more than 100 rebels from her ruling Conservative Party — refusing to endorse the highly contentious Brexit deal.

Britain, May
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labor Party, talks during a no-confidence debate after Parliament rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal, in London, Jan. 16, 2019. VOA

The government’s defeat plunged into greater disarray Britain’s scheduled March 29 exit from the EU. Major questions remain about how and whether it will happen.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday that after the British parliament’s rejection of a draft agreement detailing the country’s divorce from the EU, the risk of reaching the deadline with no deal in place is higher than ever.

The vote against the agreement was the biggest parliamentary reversal ever handed a sitting government, with lawmakers, including more than 100 rebels from her ruling Conservative party, refusing to endorse the highly contentious Brexit deal.

Just 202 lawmakers backed May’s deal with 432 voting against it. The defeat dwarfed the previous 1924 record when then-Labor Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald lost a vote by 166, triggering the collapse of his government and a general election, which he lost.

After the vote, May said, “The vote tells us nothing” about what the House of Commons would agree to regarding Brexit.

Second referendum

Britain, May
A pro-European demonstrator protests in front of a Leaver campaign board opposite the Houses of Parliament in London, Jan. 15, 2019, ahead of lawmakers’ vote on whether to accept British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Later, the plan was soundly defeated. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. VOA

The defeat of May’s plan will give further momentum to a burgeoning campaign in the House of Commons, and among Remainers in the country, for a second referendum, according to analysts. Remainers hope a replayed referendum would reverse the Brexit plebiscite of 2016, which Leavers narrowly won.

The vote on the deal — which originally was due in December but was delayed by the government when it became clear there was insufficient backing for it to pass — also leaves hanging in the balance May’s future as prime minister. Her aides maintained at the end of a day of high political drama that she wouldn’t resign.

“She is the person who has to deliver Brexit,” said British Business Minister Claire Perry, who said May didn’t need to resign.

“There will be other attempts at this. There will be strenuous efforts to improve on the deal,” Perry said.

The sheer scale of the defeat throws into doubt whether even a reshaped Brexit Withdrawal Agreement would secure parliamentary approval in the future, even if the EU is prepared to reopen negotiations.

Britain, May
British Business Minister Claire Perry arrives to attend a Cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Jan. 15, 2019. VOA

‘Hopelessly optimistic’

“Her Plan B, more of the same, is hopelessly optimistic,” said commentator Isabel Oakeshott.

Also Read: British Lawmakers Rejects Brexit Deal, PM Faces Vote Of No-Confidence

EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted when news of the historic vote broke: “I take note with regret of the outcome of the vote in the House of Commons this evening. I urge the UK to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.”

EU President Donald Tusk reflected the frustration of many in Brussels, tweeting: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?” (VOA)