ISIS militants have been spreading across Iraq and Syria, and new reports indicate that the extremist group is making a push in North America as well.
A Canadian imam known as a peace activist warned that the group also known as Islamic State or IS is actively recruiting in Canada and that members have issued death threats to him. Syed Soharwardy, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC), said a Muslim man from Ottawa had already taken up arms with ISIS and that the group was seeking others from Canada as well.
Sohawardy called on the United States and Canada to keep up the pressure on the radical group.
“Absolutely I am convinced that this recruitment is going on right here in this country, under our noses, in our universities, in our colleges, in the places of worship, in our community,” he told CBC public television.
Soharwardy added that the ISIS fighter from Ottawa had sent him a death threat via Facebook.
“He was condemning me for condemning ISIS, and he was saying that ‘You are a deviant imam and your version of Islam is not the right version,’ ” Soharwardy said.
ISIS has been known to pull fighters from across Western nations. This weekend London man Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary was identified as the ISIS militant who beheaded American photojournalist James Foley. Bary was known in the UK for his somewhat successful rap career but also has deep terrorism ties. His father, Adel Abdul Bary, was extradited from Britain to the United States on charges of terrorism in 2012 and was believed to be a close lieutenant of Osama bin Laden.
Earlier, an ISIS supporter also took a picture of the ISIS logo held up on a cell phone in front of the White House.
In Canada, Soharwardy began a 48-hour hunger strike to to bring attention to the dangerous nature of ISIS and also to pay homage to Foley.