FBI Seeks Public’s Help in Identifying Masked American ISIS Jihadist in Video

( [email protected] ) Oct 08, 2014 01:22 PM EDT
The FBI is seeking the public's help in identifying this man, purportedly a member of the terror group ISIS. (FBI)

The FBI is seeking the public's assistance in identifying a masked militant - believed to be an American - seen in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria propaganda video released in September. The man speaks in both Arabic and English as he presides over a group of prisoners who can be seen in the background digging their own graves.

Acting as both narrator and executioner in the 55 minute video, the clip released to the public shows him - gun in hand - preparing to murder alleged Syrian Army prisoners. The chilling video, titled "The Flames of War," is designed as a recruitment tool to entice Westerners to join the terrorist group.

On Saturday, the FBI arrested Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, at O'Hare International Airport. An American living in the Chicago metro area, he is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization by trying to travel overseas to join ISIS.

Following Khan's arrest, and on the heels of the release of the ISIS recruitment video, the FBI has been specific in its request of the American people.

"We need the public's assistance in identifying U.S. persons going to fight overseas with terrorist groups or who are returning home from fighting overseas," said Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division. "We're hoping that someone might recognize this individual and provide us with key pieces of information. No piece of information is too small."

As with other militant terrorist groups, ISIS uses many tactics in hopes of recruiting fighters from around the world. Much like a gang, they deceitfully offer potential recruits a sense of brotherhood and comradery, and a chance to be part of something they believe has a higher purpose. Terrorist groups use fraternity type tactics initially, but according to a recently released ISIS video, a Westerner converting to Islam is not guaranteed his life.

Following the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning last week, the Islamic State released a video stating that Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old Indiana aid worker, would be next. Though Kassig reportedly converted to Islam and assumed the name Abdul-Rahman, he was taken captive in October 2013 in Syria by Islamic militants.

In recent months, ISIS has released several videos depicting the brutal beheadings of American, French and English citizens. In those videos, the masked man spoke with a British accent. The release of the most recent video - with a fluent English speaker who is noticeably full of rage - heightens concern over the potential of terrorist group recruitment in the U.S.

"These homegrown violent extremists are troubled souls who are seeking meaning in some misguided way," said FBI Director James Comey. "And so they come across the propaganda and they become radicalized on their own independent study, and they're also able to equip themselves with training again on the Internet, and then engage in jihad after emerging from their basement."

The latest video clip can be seen at www.fbi.gov, where they also request assistance in identifying the individuals in this video as well as anyone traveling abroad to join terrorist organizations. Please send tips to www.fbi.gov/ISILtips or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) with information.