Just days after the Brussels bombings, a British extremist released a pro-jihad screed filmed on a rainy city street as a passerby strides through the shot without skipping a step.
The material he was filming was promoted and distributed Thursday via ISIS Telegram channels.
London-based bus driver Abu Haleema, an associate of extremist Anjem Choudary, was arrested in spring 2015 by Scotland Yard; he’d warned in a video two months before that “we’re going to see the black flag of sharia in the White House, we’re going to see the black flag of sharia over Windsor castle, we’re going to see the black flag of the khilafah on the Suez Canal.”
He was freed on bail — on the condition that he stop stoking jihad through his active YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“Officers from the counter-terrorism command SO15 arrested a 37-year-old man in a west London street on suspicion of encouragement of terrorism contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006,” British law enforcement officials said at the time. “He was taken to a central London Police Station and has since been bailed to a date in mid-June pending further enquiries. The man was detained under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.”
Early this year, Abu Haleema turned his focus to stoking jihad in Australia, with videos attacking more moderate Muslim leaders, including one who issued a fatwa confirming Australian Muslims can join the police and military.
He was featured in a January documentary, The Jihadis Next Door, released by Britain’s Channel 4.
Abu Haleema told the filmmaker that he wanted to re-create ISIS videos in London, including throwing gays off tall buildings and stoning to death adulterers on Haven Green in Ealing, West London.
He’s considered to be one of those leading the Islamic extremist movement in the UK left behind by Siddartha Dhar when he went to the Islamic State and became their new English-speaking “Jihadi John” executioner.
In the documentary, Abu Haleema and Mohammed Shamsuddin laugh and joke while watching an ISIS execution video during dinner.
In the video released Monday, Abu Haleema speaks on a nighttime street, illuminated by the lights of a parking lot across the way. He begins by rattling off verses from the Quran.
“What are we seeing now? We’ve seen this five years now the war’s been happening in Syria, five years now the people have been trying to liberate themselves from the kuffar [disbelievers],” he said in his belligerent, rapid-fire style.
At his point a man in slacks and a jacket walks by on the sidewalk next to Abu Haleema at a measured pace, heading through the rain and to his destination.
The British extremist doesn’t notice the person walking through his video and continues. “They’ve been trying to free themselves from the oppression of manmade law. Five years they’ve been doing this now. Five years they’ve fighting for this now, and we see videos coming out, videos coming out of Raqqa and Mosul, they’re bombing schools and hospitals and killing innocent women and children. These terrorists, these crusaders, killing innocent women and children…. And we see a video come out today of them bombing, these terrorists, they decimated a street.”
The London-born son of Pakistani parents wasn’t talking about the terrorist attack in Brussels, but strikes in the Islamic State.
“They decimated this street, and in this street what do you see? You see women wailing, children crying, and men looking for their loved ones, all of them covered in blood. Blood is stuck to their bodies, mixed with the grief… They’re seeing these planes fly over them, and what do they do? They stick their finger in the air and they shout ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They shout Allahu Akbar in defiance of the kuffar, to show the kuffar that they’re not scared,” he said.
As Abu Haleema is raising his right index finger in the ISIS trademark gesture a car drives past on the street without pausing at the jihad video being filmed.
“We say to these kuffar that you’re bombing innocent women and children,” he continues. “You’re bombing innocent women and children in hospitals and schools and universities, it’s a war crime… What did they do other than living under the sharia? You commit terrorism on a state level, you don’t see what you’re doing to women and children, and when the same thing happens to you, these same people you terrorize, is anyone going to feel remorse? … Look what you did to them, how do you expect them to feel sorry for you?”
“All you kuffar, and you munafiqeen [Muslim hypocrites]… we say to all of you, that you really think that Allah will leave the Muslims in humiliation?… If you really think that, just wait… we’ll see who Allah gives a victory to.”